According to Jim Bowden of CBS Sports and The Athletic, the Chicago White Sox might be interested in pursuing starting pitcher Marcus Stroman as a free agent this winter. He also added that Stroman is a candidate to be traded this season and that he is extremely unlikely to return to the New York Mets. Bowden mentioned the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels as other potential suitors for the right-hander.
White Sox fans are very familiar with Stroman, who clashed with Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson in 2017. However, the two players have since made amends, and Stroman publicly supported Anderson during the fallout from his bat flip against the Royals in April of 2019.
The uncertainty looming over this rumor is obviously the state of baseball and its free agent market. Many teams are likely to be shedding salary rather than adding it due to the lack of revenue (relative to expectations) generated this year. However, one can only hope that the White Sox are not one of these teams. Ever since the rebuild began, the organization has ranked near the bottom of the league in payroll, and it has long been believed that payroll would be added over the next few years (including 2020, when the team signed a plethora of respected free agents). Moreover, the White Sox are one of the few teams reportedly supporting their employees during this period of life without baseball.
Therefore, if the White Sox are to be viewed as spenders this offseason, Marcus Stroman, who is coming off a 3.9 WAR season with the Blue Jays and Mets, could be a good fit. His passionate and energetic style would fit perfectly on a White Sox team that plays the same way. Moreover, he would slot in as an excellent addition in a rotation headlined by Lucas Giolito. Stroman and Dallas Keuchel would be the stabilizing veterans, while Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, and perhaps Reynaldo Lopez would be terrific high-ceiling complements.
One cannot even pretend to predict what kind of money Stroman will command, given the economic uncertainty of the league. Regardless, nobody can ever have enough starting pitching, and should the White Sox look to add a free agent this winter, Stroman may be the best option for the team. He would likely cost less than top of the market options like Trevor Bauer, and Stroman is still an all-star caliber pitcher who, like Dallas Keuchel, excels at inducing ground balls. With (hopeful) defensive stalwarts Nick Madrigal and Yoan Moncada at second and third base, plus the high-ceiling and hard-working Tim Anderson at shortstop, this should work in the team’s favor.
Whether the White Sox attempt to trade for Stroman during a shortened 2020 season, or if they simply wait until free agency, it is nonetheless interesting to note that they may be interested in another starting pitcher after signing Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez last offseason. Yet, the starting rotation is mostly unproven, and adding established pieces would certainly be welcome. While other needs such as relief pitching and right field could and perhaps should be addressed this winter, pursuing Marcus Stroman would not be a bad start.
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