MLB free agency: Yankees reportedly land Marcus Stroman on 2-year, $37 million deal

Jack Baer

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 28:  Marcus Stroman #0 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on September 28, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Marcus Stroman had a rough end to 2023. So did the Yankees. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees got some much-needed rotation help Thursday, landing free-agent starting pitcher Marcus Stroman on a two-year, $37 million deal, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

The deal reportedly contains a third-year vesting option. Stroman seemingly confirmed the news on his Instagram story.

Stroman was ranked 12th on Yahoo Sports’ list of top MLB free agents this offseason, with only two starting pitchers above him remaining (Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery). Whereas those pitchers are seeking nine-figure deals, Stroman represented a more affordable option for a Yankees pitching staff that was in dire need of help.

Before Thursday, the Yankees’ rotation went something like Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Carlos Rodón, Clarke Schmidt and … other, with the latter likely being an unproven option such as Yoendrys Gómez or Clayton Beeter. Even if the Yankees lucked out and found a star rookie, Cortes and Rodón combined for 127 2/3 innings last year with a 5.92 ERA. Neither was a reliable option.

Stroman, for all his faults, has at least delivered real innings in his career. Since missing much of the 2015 season due to a torn ACL, he has averaged 164 innings per season, which makes him a workhorse by modern standards.

The bigger concern is how Stroman ended the 2023 season. He appeared on track for a much bigger payday, earning All-Star honors with a 2.47 ERA at the end of June, but then posted an 8.31 ERA the rest of the season while missing time due to a hip injury. Maybe that makes Stroman just another questionable option for the Yankees, but no starting pitcher is a guarantee to throw 200 innings in this era.

Stroman’s addition marks the latest move in a busy offseason for the Yankees after they went 82-80 in 2023. They previously focused on overhauling their outfield around Aaron Judge by trading for Juan Soto, Trent Grisham and Alex Verdugo. We’ll see if there are any moves left for them to make.