If the Chicago Cubs are serious about building a contender, they need to focus on their rotation. Justin Steele and Jameson Taillon are the only pitchers currently in the rotation under team control for 2024. While there are some intriguing arms in their system, the Cubs need to add established arms to their rotation moving forward.
One such arm is already in place. Marcus Stroman is in the midst of a career year for the Cubs, posting an impressive 2.76 ERA and a 1.087 WHiP over his 107.2 innings, striking out 92 batters with 37 walks. He has been a ground ball machine, generating grounders on 59.7% of balls in play. And he has been very clear that he wants to stay with the Cubs on a long term deal.
Chicago Cubs may not realize what they have until it’s gone
However, the Cubs have not displayed that same sense of urgency. While there were preliminary discussions regarding an extension during spring training, nothing has happened since. That is not likely to change as Ken Rosenthal and Patrick Mooney of The Athletic reported that the Cubs are not looking to extend Stroman prior to the trade deadline on August 1.
Such a move does make sense in the short term. The Cubs are below .500 and have a lot of ground to make up in the Wild Card chase. While the division is likely more attainable, they still need to hurdle several teams to take over the top spot. The Cubs may regard Stroman as a trade chip at the deadline, potentially the best starter that could be available. A possible return in trade could accelerate the rebuilding process, although the organization claims to be “reloading” instead.
If that is true, then they need Stroman. While he may not be an ace despite his performance this season, he is a solid top of the rotation arm. He is someone that a contending team would want as a part of their pitching staff. He is also exactly what the Cubs need as they look to return to relevance.
The Chicago Cubs are not ready to extend Marcus Stroman just yet. Their current reluctance could prove to be a mistake.