Marcus Stroman: Phillies Free Agency ’24 Big Board

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Marcus Stroman

The Winter Meetings have once again kicked off the Major League Baseball off-season.

Now is the time to see players finally sign and trades start to happen. The signings and even trades this year have taken longer than in past seasons, but names are finally starting to come off the board.

Luckily, there are still some bigger names out there that the Phillies can look to sign and bolster the roster for the 2024 season.

The last name put on the free agency big board was Jorge Soler. The name being put on the big board this time, is one Phillies fans are familiar with.

Marcus Stroman

The 2017 World Baseball Classic MVP is looking for a new home after two quick years with the Chicago Cubs.

Looking beyond the ERA, the stats show Marcus Stroman has had two rather productive seasons with Chicago. His opponent’s batting average decreased both years he was in Chicago, going from .234 in 2022 to .231 in 2023.

The nine home runs he allowed this season are also down from the 16 he allowed in the 2022 season and the 17 he allowed in 2023. The one complete game he pitched this season was a shutout, the fourth of his career.

His stats show that, at 32, Stroman is still a formidable pitcher in the major leagues. He’d be a valuable piece for any franchise.

Marcus Stroman
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Monday, July 31, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

What Would the Rotation Look Like?

Signing Marcus Stroman would make this starting rotation a lot of fun.

    1. Zack Wheeler

    2. Aaron Nola

    3. Ranger Suarez

    4. Marcus Stroman

    5. Taijuan Walker

You can move them around a little bit, but this starting five is very solid. If you want to avoid another “second half Taijuan Walker” or lengthen Stroman’s innings, you can use Sanchez between and rest them longer.

Concerns?

One concern with the 2014 first-round pick is that he doesn’t pitch a lot of innings. Marcus Stroman’s last two seasons saw him toss only 138.2 and 136.2, which is higher than all but one of his last five seasons. This means the Phillies will have to use their bullpen more in games he pitches, which is very detrimental down the stretch.

We’ve all seen what a gassed bullpen arm can cause in the postseason, so preventing that from happening should be a priority.

Fortunately, the Phillies are equipped to handle a pitcher that can’t go too many innings. Sanchez and Strahm can go multiple innings, which would help stretch Stro’s outings as much as it can. It could work, but the innings would be something to keep an eye on, both with the relievers and Stroman.

Are the Phillies a Likely Landing Spot?

If you asked me this at the trade deadline, I would have said the Phillies are the most likely spot for Marcus Stroman. Now, however, I’m not convinced the Phillies will get him.

The Phillies have Mick Abel, Andrew Painter, and Griff McGarry coming up through the system. Painter, their #1 prospect, was expected to join the big leagues this year before being delayed until 2025 due to Tommy John surgery.

Stroman is a great fit for the 2024-2025 season, but I’d be surprised if he took just a one or two-year deal. If he is willing to take a one or two-year deal, the Phillies need to bring him in.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)