‘Love being a Cub’: Marcus Stroman discusses his long-term future with Cubs ahead of trade deadline
Marcus Stroman loves the Cubs and loves Chicago. But he’s aware that he’s in a business and no matter how he feels, his fate for the rest of this season is out of his control.
“So at the end of the day, it’s a business so we have to treat it as such, even though we have this love for this fan base and this organization,” Stroman said after the Cubs’ 10-4 win over the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. “It’s hard to kind of separate it at times. I love being a Cub. I love everything about it.”
He’s been through a midseason trade before.
In 2019, the Blue Jays were out of contention in the AL East and the Mets were looking to boost their rotation for a playoff push. So the teams made a deal, with Toronto sending their homegrown arm in Stroman to New York for Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson.
“[As] someone who’s been through before, it’s something you kind of have to distance yourself a bit because a lot of it’s out of your control and no matter how much I love it, I can wake up tomorrow and be gone,” Stroman said. “So, it’s tough. But [I] love everything about the city of Chicago and this organization.”
The Cubs, of course, are still fighting for the division and could even be buyers by the time the deadline rolls around if they can get hot here over the next few weeks, but if he is traded, that doesn’t close the door on a return to the Friendly Confines, though.
“No matter what happens, I would hope that they would be in the mix in the offseason when it comes to my free agency,” Stroman said. “Whatever happens, happens. If I have to go somewhere else and pitch for two months and then [come back] you know what I mean?
“Regardless of what happens, like I said, I’m in a great space mentally so I’m gonna be good regardless.”
Given his performance this season, Stroman would become one of the hottest commodities on the trade market. He’s a frontline starter amid one of his best seasons. He received a qualifying offer in 2021 with the Mets, so he can’t receive another — meaning the Cubs wouldn’t receive draft-pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. If the Cubs don’t re-sign him in the offseason, they would see him leave with nothing in return.
For now, Stroman’s focus is continuing to dominate like he did Saturday against the Red Sox. That can help them back into the NL Central division with a roster that can make things interesting in a playoff series — two co-aces in Stroman and Justin Steele, a strong defense and intriguing middle-of-the-order bats in Cody Bellinger, Christopher Morel and Dansby Swanson.
“I would love to be here long-term,” Stroman said. “Everyone’s always putting this emphasis on, ‘Oh, we need to play good in seven days, 10 days and then we can be buyers.’ But I actually don’t believe in that. This division is wide open. And then if you even look deeper than that, as an organization, why would you not want to be competitive for multiple years year after year after year?”