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MLB insider expects Chicago Cubs to trade Marcus Stroman, 3 potential landing spots

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman has surfaced in MLB trade rumors this month with his team fading in the MLB standings. Now, there’s a growing belief that Stroman will be dealt before the trade deadline.

When he signed with Chicago in 2021, Stroman was brought in to be a front-line starter who could help make the Cubs a playoff contender. The 5-foot-7 righty has performed up to expectations, but Chicago remains far out of the MLB playoff picture.

  • Marcus Stroman contract: $25 million salary (2023), $23.66 million player option (2024)

Related: Chicago Cubs star Marcus Stroman calls out organization

While Stroman prefers to remain in Chicago, the veteran starter hasn’t been shown any interest from the Cubs’ front office in negotiating a contract extension. As a result, with the team not in the postseason mix and its ace eligible for free agency this winter, Stroman is expected to be traded this summer.

MLB insider Jon Morosi explained to MLB Network why he expects the Cubs to trade Stroman this year, taking advantage of a market that currently doesn’t have a lot of high-end starting pitchers.

If Stroman declines his player option for 2024, he immediately becomes a free agent. Because he previously received the qualifying offer early in his career, he isn’t eligible to receive it again. Facing the likelihood of losing Stroman in free agency for nothing, the Cubs would likely move him now to ensure they get something back for him.

Identifying 3 best Marcus Stroman trade destinations

MLB: Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants
D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

As with all players on an expiring contract or who control their future, Chicago’s return in a potential trade will be limited. MLB teams will view Stroman as a half-season rental, meaning there’s a discount on the quality of prospects they have to give up for him.

  • Marcus Stroman stats (2023): 2.42 ERA, .191 BAA, 1.04 WHIP, 7.67 K/9 in 85.2 innings

While the lack of long-term contractual control takes away some of Stroman’s trade appeal, the reduced acquisition cost also makes him a more affordable option for several clubs.

  • Boston Red Sox – Through their first 69 games, Boston Red Sox starting pitchers ranked 24th in ERA (4.98) and 18th in WHIP. For the Red Sox to have any shot at a Wild Card spot, they need a stabilizing force in their rotation. Marcus Stroman is the perfect short-term fix for a team that doesn’t have the farm system to acquire an ace with multiple years of contract control.
  • San Francisco Giants – The San Francisco Giants have the second-best record in baseball (25-16) since May 1, with an impressive 3.39 ERA over that span. However, the Giants’ rotation has also dealt with plenty of injury issues this season. Meanwhile, Ross Stripling (7.24 ERA) and Sean Manaea (5.52 ERA) have been disasters as back-end starters. Marcus Stroman fits perfectly with the Giants’ identity and his 61 percent groundball rate makes him an even better target for San Francisco.
  • Arizona Diamondbacks – The Arizona Diamondbacks are the biggest surprise in baseball this season, emerging as a legitimate playoff contender. With a young core helping boost the lineup, Arizona now needs to add depth to its starting rotation. Marcus Stroman could slide in as the No. 2 starter behind Zac Gallen (3.09 ERA), joining Merrill Kelly (3.04 ERA) to create a pitching trio that would improve the Diamondbacks’ 4.60 rotation ERA.
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