Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Yankees Sign Stroman, Bringing New York Kid Home


Yankee Stadium. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees have signed one of the best pitchers on the free agent market, Marcus Stroman, to a two-year contract, the team announced on Wednesday. There is also a conditional player option for the 2026 season.

The Medford, New York, native, who played for the Mets from 2019-21, returns home to play for the team he rooted for as a child.

Stroman, 32, spent the past two seasons with the Chicago Cubs, and he was an All-Star in 2023, as he went 10-9 with a 3.95 earned run average (ERA), with nine of those wins coming in the first half of the season. He threw 136.2 innings pitched, and allowed 60 earned runs (68 overall) on 120 hits, including just nine home runs, and 52 walks, with 119 strikeouts, and he had a complete game shutout, in 27 games (25 starts).

Among Major League pitchers in 2023 with at least 100.0 innings pitched, Stroman ranked second in groundball percentage (58.4) and home runs allowed per nine innings (0.59), eight in opponents' slugging percentage (.335) and 12th in opponents' OPS at .640.

Stroman made his Major League debut with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014, and he pitched there until 2019, when he made the All-Star team. His best season with the Jays was in 2017 when he went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA and in his five-plus seasons with Toronto, he went 47-45 with a 3.76 ERA. 

After arriving to the Mets at the trade deadline in 2019, he went 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA, and then after sitting out the 2020 pandemic season, he had a superb 3.02 ERA in 2021, while only going 10-13 in Jacob deGrom-like fashion.

In his nine-year career, Stroman's record is 77-76 with a 3.65 ERA, as he has thrown 1,303.2 innings pitched, and allowed 529 earned runs (591 overall), 1,257 hits, 376 walks, 120 home runs, while striking out 1,091.

In the time since he debuted in 2014, Stroman ranks second in the Major Leagues in groundball percentage at 57.5 and fourth in home runs allowed per nine innings (0.83). He is one of just 11 pitchers to make 25-or-more starts in at least six of the past seven full seasons since 2016, which excludes 2020's 6-game campaign. The 1,146 innings he has thrown since 2016 are also the 12th-highest among Major League pitchers.

Stroman was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, but did not sign and attended Duke University for three seasons before Toronto drafted him in the first round (22nd overall) in the 2012 Draft.

At Patchogue-Medford High School, where Stroman graduated from in 2010, he was a four-year letterwinner. In his senior year, he went 9-1 with an eye-popping 0.25 ERA and 120 strikeouts, which earned him First-Team All-State and Third-Team All-American honors.

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