Pitcher Stroman uses Twitter to announce he'll be joining Cubs
Cubs fans have been waiting for their team to make a splash in free-agency.
If they happened to be following Marcus Stroman on Twitter, they felt drops of water Wednesday evening.
The former Mets pitcher came to an agreement on a reported three-year, $71-million deal with the Cubs and announced it himself, tweeting, "Chicago!"
A short time later, he was on a Zoom call with reporters. One of the first questions was about the Cubs shifting to rebuilding mode by trading the core of the 2016 World Series team.
"I truly don't think you can go into any year and necessarily say it's going to be a rebuild because you can have a bunch of young guys play to an incredible level and you can kind of outplay how you're predicted to play," he said.
"I'm excited to compete here and I'm coming in here to win. I'm not coming in here just to come in here. I'm coming in here to compete and win with this group of guys that we have and kind of bring that passion and that emotion and let it show to the crowd."
Stroman, 30, is a right-handed starting pitcher. Last season for the Mets, he went 10-13 with a 3.02 ERA and 158 strikeouts in 179 innings pitched.
The Long Island native was a first-round draft pick by Toronto in 2012 out of Duke University. His best season was in 2017 for the Blue Jays when he posted a 13-9 record with 3.09 ERA. He was traded to the Mets midway through the 2019 season and opted out of the shortened 2020 campaign.
He was an AL All-Star in 2019, finished eighth in Cy Young voting and won a gold glove in 2017, and started five postseason games with the Blue Jays.
He also tweeted about how much he likes the city of Chicago, so that was another theme of the day. Stroman was asked if he consulted with former Mets teammate Javy Baez, who signed with Detroit on Wednesday.
"To be honest, I haven't, but I've heard nothing but the most incredible things about the organization since I've been in the big leagues since 2014," Stroman said. "And I have talked to Javy at some point, I've talked to (Anthony) Rizzo at some point, I've talked to (Kris) Bryant. At some point, I've talked to all these guys who have been here and they've had nothing but incredible things to say, about not only the organization, but the city.
"So I felt like I didn't need to necessarily reach out to anyone, because I felt like I knew and it felt right. I felt it was the right fit in my gut. I'm a very intuitive person and Chicago, the Cubs just felt like the right fit for me and I'm excited to be here."
A strong starting rotation was the strength of the 2016 team and both manager David Ross and president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer talked about a desire to improve the rotation next season. They already added left-hander Wade Miley, a waiver claim from the Reds. So the Cubs figure to have a starting rotation of Stroman, Miley, Kyle Hendricks, Adbert Alzolay, Justin Steele and Stroman, with Alec Mills and Keegan Thompson as potential starting depth.
Before tweeting about joining the Cubs, Stroman tweeted at Alzolay, who replied to a Stroman reference with popcorn emojis.
"You ready to deal all year in front of that unbelievable Wrigley crowd my bro?" Stroman tweeted to Alzolay. "Let's get to work!"
Even after sitting out in 2020, Stroman made 33 starts for the Mets last summer.
"I truly believe these next three years I'm going to be even better," he said. "I'm going to be stronger, I'm going to be more stable, I'm going to have a workload to actually work off of. And I'm excited, I think I'm going to take my game to the next level."