CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs are not inclined to sign Marcus Stroman to a contract extension before the Aug. 1 trade deadline, sources report. the athletepreferring to keep their options open and see the team’s performance over the next month.
How the team finishes this season will affect the 2024 budget that has been handed to Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer and General Manager Carter Hawkins, who have indicated their willingness to wait until the last minute before making any major buy or sell decisions.
The Cubs achieved a record of 38-42 in their game scheduled for Saturday night against the Cleveland Guardians at Wrigley Field. However, they were only 4 1/2 games out of first place in National League Central and the only team in the division with a positive run differential (plus 32).
Stroman, who can opt out of his contract after this season, is expected to become either one of the best starting pitchers in the trade market or the key to the Cubs’ second-half surge. There’s no anticipation about a surprise extension for Stroman, who’s pitching a level he should put in the conversation to start the All-Star Game.
“Nothing new,” Stroman said Friday when asked if there has been any movement in his discussions with the front office. “I have a great relationship with Jed and Carter. He’s been great here. I don’t think they’re in a position now to extend (my time here). Which, I don’t even care. I feel good here. I’d like them to play in the off-season. I’d like to have On the chance to sign up again here in free agency after the year is out. I’m very present. No matter how things go.”
Stroman took the unusual step of highlighting this issue with the front office with a Twitter post.
Stroman later clarified that with this tweet, he was aiming to present his side of the story and stand up to any potential accounts of him asking for too much money or not wanting to stay in Chicago. In response, Hoyer declined to comment, saying it was team policy to handle these matters “in-house” and not to talk about contract negotiations publicly.
Stroman is represented by Brodie Van Wagenen, a former general manager of the New York Mets who now serves as Chief Operating Officer of Roc Nation Sports. Van Wagenen once traded for Stroman in a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, but he never negotiated Stroman’s three-year, $71 million contract with the Cubs, which was finalized in the final hours before Major League Baseball’s lockout.
“I don’t see us negotiating with anyone else this season,” Hoyer said in April after the Cubs announced a $61 million contract extension for Ian Happ. “I hope at the end of the season we will look for some suitable candidates.”
If the Cubs don’t trade Stroman this summer, the club will likely revisit the idea in September and try to extend him before he lands in free agency. Stroman is ineligible for a qualifying offer, which means the Cubs will not receive draft option compensation if he signs with another team this winter.
Cubs manager David Ross has referred to Stroman as the best player on the team, noting not only his outstanding performance on the mound (9-5, 2.47 ERA) but also his consistency and durability, which allows the team to use its bases in different ways. Stroman also brings some confidence and swagger to Wrigley Field.
“Strowman was awesome,” said Ross. “He was the horse that we got to know and go out and get and pay for. He had every bit of that status being a No. 1, Opening Day starter, a guy who makes a lot of money to get out there and give us a chance to win consistently. He’s done nothing but do it.”
(Photo by Marcus Stroman: David Banks/USA Today)