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Cubs’ Marcus Stroman opens up about stall in extension talks: ‘I want to be here’

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SAN FRANCISCO – Marcus Stroman woke up Saturday morning to calls from fans on Twitter for the Cubs to extend him. 

These weren’t new. But his 6 ⅔ innings of limiting the Giants to two runs in the Cubs’ 3-2 win against the Giants on Friday reignited their fervor. 

So, under a Tweet highlighting a few impressive stats from this season, Stroman commented: “My agent and I made multiple attempts to engage them on an extension. Club wasn’t interested in exploring it now. Will see how it plays out! Love everything about the @Cubs organization!”

Stroman can opt out after this season, so his camp and the Cubs opened preliminary extension talks in the spring. But as the Aug. 1 trade deadline nears, and the Cubs hover near the bottom of the division standings, the team’s direction is expected to play a part in the club’s calculus. 

“There’s been nothing from their side, no offers, no talks really at all,” Stroman said. “That’s me putting it out there and being super honest. And now I’m back to work. I’m not going to really address it anymore moving forward.” 

President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer doesn’t comment on ongoing negotiations as a policy, which he reiterated earlier this week in Anaheim. 

“Obviously, he’s thrown great this year,” Hoyer said. “And our focus is ways to be consistent as a team and kind of claw our way back to the race.”

Since those comments, the Cubs haven’t done much clawing. They were swept by the Angels before Stroman’s performance Friday in San Francisco helped snap a four-game losing streak. 

There’s been plenty of speculation about whether the Cubs will trade Stroman at the deadline. His 2.42 ERA is the lowest of any Cub in his first 14 starts of a season since 2016, when Jake Arrieta (1.74) and Jon Lester (2.06) began the year in dominant fashion. And the better Stroman plays, the stronger the trade offers will be. 

That’s the case even considering the structure of his contract. An opt out makes any contract harder to trade because it builds in some risk in the case of injury, for example, in the season before the opt out. Stroman is expected to test free agency after this season, assuming he doesn’t reach an extension. 

He’s bracing for what may come as the trade deadline draws closer.

“I know how narratives get created in media from the top down once it starts to creep towards the trade deadline and how they try to make it sound like players are unsignable or don’t want to be here,” he said, referring to leaks in MLB. “I want to be here more than anything. So I made that known. And there’s been no rebuttal from their side.” 

Stroman told the Sun-Times in a separate conversation that the Cubs have given him no indication of whether they’ll pick up negotiations closer to the trade deadline. He described it as “a lot of talking in circles.” 

The Cubs just so happened to be in San Francisco when all this came to a head. The Giants were the runners up when Stroman signed with the Cubs before the 2021-22 MLB lockout. And Stroman has continued to speak highly of the club since. 

After the game Friday, he reiterated his praise for Giants manager Gabe Kapler and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi. 

“All those guys are pretty incredible,” he said. “So nothing but love for the organization. I feel like they’re one of the more progressive organizations in the big leagues, and I like how they handle everything, not only on the field but off the field as well.” 

Similarly, the Giants, who threw a bullpen game on Saturday, could use starting pitching. And they’re not alone.



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