Marcus Stroman, Cubs Agree to 3-Year Contract Worth Reported $71M in MLB Free Agency

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist II

New York Mets' Marcus Stroman (0) pitches during the first inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheaderagainst the Miami Marlins Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Marcus Stroman agreed to a three-year contract with the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, which Jeff Passan of ESPN reported is worth $71 million.

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

Marcus Stroman signed a three-year, $71 million contract with the Chicago Cubs that includes an opt out after the second season, sources tell ESPN. He’ll make $25 million in 2022, $25 million in 2023 and $21 million in 2024. It includes $2M escalators for 160 IP in ‘22 and ‘23.

Earlier on Wednesday, Stroman broke the news of a deal via Twitter:

Marcus Stroman @STR0

You ready to deal all year in front of that unbelievable Wrigley crowd my bro!? Let’s get to work! <a href="https://twitter.com/Cubs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Cubs</a> <a href="https://t.co/oTXh3RGIC2">https://t.co/oTXh3RGIC2</a>

Marcus Stroman @STR0

CHICAGO! <a href="https://twitter.com/Cubs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Cubs</a>

Marcus Stroman @STR0

Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities. Culture and passion everywhere. Beyond excited to pitch in front one of the best fan bases in all of sports. Thank you to everyone in the city for the warm welcome. I can feel it. Let’s get to work! <a href="https://twitter.com/Cubs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Cubs</a>

Marcus Stroman @STR0

Wrigley Field is the only big league stadium I haven’t pitched at in my career. Crazy. Can’t wait to call it home! <a href="https://twitter.com/Cubs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Cubs</a>

The agreement comes not long after Matt Spiegel of WSCR-AM 670 The Score reported the two sides were deep in talks.

"Have heard now from 2 different sources that the Cubs and Marcus Stroman are hot and heavy in discussion right now," Spiegel tweeted Wednesday. "Would absolutely love that signing."

Stroman, who turns 31 years old in May, started 33 games for the New York Mets last season. He went 10-13 with a 3.02 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 158 strikeouts in 179.0 innings.

The news comes amid the looming expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLBPA at 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday. As noted by ESPN's Jesse Rogers, owners are expected to lock out the players without a new deal in place.

As far as what that would mean for free agency, Rogers explained:

"Everything halts—except that teams still could talk to one another. Conceivably, trades could be consummated during the lockout but not announced until after it ends. The major league portion of the winter meetings, scheduled for next week, would be canceled. There would be little point to holding the meetings, as agents couldn't meet with teams. In fact, team personnel wouldn't even be allowed to speak to the media about players on 40-man rosters during the lockout. The minor league side of the meetings would continue. Offseason drug testing would stop as well. It would pick up as soon as a new CBA is ratified."

Therefore, it could be beneficial for free agents to ink deals with teams before being left out in the cold for an undetermined amount of time.

As far as the Cubs and Stroman go, adding the right-hander is a huge boost to a pitching staff that posted a 4.87 ERA during the 2021 season, which was third-worst in the National League.

Stroman figures to be the ace of the Cubs' staff as the rebuilding team looks to move past a 71-91 campaign that ended with Chicago fourth in the NL Central.

The 30-year-old has pitched in the bigs since 2014 save for the 2020 season, which he opted out of amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays from 2014-2019 until he was traded to the Mets prior to the 2019 trade deadline.

Stroman is 61-60 lifetime with a 3.63 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. He made the American League All-Star team in 2019.