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2023 Cubs player profiles: Marcus Stroman

Fourteenth in a series. Marcus Stroman is the default ‘ace’ of the staff, pitching well enough in the final year of his contract to be considered for renewal, probably based on asking price after the season.

Marcus Stroman delivers a pitch
Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Marcus Earl Stroman has been a pretty decent pitcher in his Cubs tenure. Aged 32 years on May 1, 2023 (happy birthday!), Stroman was drafted out of Duke University by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2012 Amateur Draft.

Stroman is exactly at .500 over his career, 69 games up, 69 games down. His next start will possibly decide which way that trends. He’s 8-9 as a Cub, and while wins may be an over-rated or unused stat, that pretty much tells the story — Stroman has been uneven for much of his career, 2017 was his best year, when he was 13-8 with a 3.09 ERA in 201 innings, walking 62 and striking out 164.

Stroman won the Gold Glove that year (and the WBC MVP)— he’s a terrific fielder, an asset to the infield. This year, he continues to pitch fairly well in some bad luck, and he’s only 2-2, while deserving of much better numbers. He’s walked 13 batters while striking out 33 as of April 30, and the rest of his numbers look good as well. The issue is that he’s going to be a 10-year vet (with a little over eight years actual service time) and is going to be asking for a ton of money (his salary this year is $25 million) — and maybe isn’t worth that unless he betters his 2017 numbers. It’s possible — he’s had five quality starts out of his six starts, but he would need to get more decisions.

He does have some playoff experience with Toronto, in 2015 and 2016, and is 1-1 lifetime. He rarely misses a start, has been very durable over the years. He logged his 1,000th career strikeout in his last start [VIDEO].

The outspoken Stroman has also authored a series of children’s books and bills himself as an entrepreneur. He does have a player option for 2024 ($21+ mil with an escalator clause based on innings pitched) but most experts don’t think he’ll exercise that option and will instead opt for Free Agency.

Right now, the steady Stroman and up-and-coming ace Justin Steele are keeping the renascent Cubs in the game. Steele will be the subject of the next profile. Will Stroman be a part of the team next year? Only time will tell, and as always, ‘we await developments.’