NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 08: Marcus Stroman #0 enters the dugout before the game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 08, 2023 in New York City.
Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

Yankees Awkwardly Reject Free Agent Interested In Playing For Them

The MLB offseason has generally been slow-moving, but that's especially the case for free-agent starting pitchers. However, it doesn't mean teams like the New York Yankees are just going to acquire anybody to fill the prolonged void in their rotation.

New York was in the Yoshinobu Yamamoto sweepstakes to the bitter end until he decided to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Bombers have since been on the hunt to find another hurler to slot in behind the likes of Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon and others.

General manager Brian Cashman and his front office seem very aware of what they like and don't like. One of the pitchers they're apparently not interested in acquiring is free-agent Marcus Stroman. The Medford, New York product has played for three teams during his MLB career: the Toronto Blue Jays, the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs. He pitched for the Cubs in 2022 and 2023 before exercising his 2024 player opt-out to re-enter free agency. There hasn't been a lot of noise in the rumor mill regarding Stroman this winter, but that can be attributed to so many top-tier starters still being unsigned.

While Yamamoto agreed to a deal right before Christmas, hurlers like Sh?ta Imanaga, Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery have yet to find a home for 2024 and beyond. Pitchers in the next tier don't always have to wait for others to sign, but it happens quite a bit. Sometimes, those players take matters into their own hands to get their market moving.

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, that's what Stroman tried to do. The Yankees just wanted no part of it. In Nightengale's weekend notebook, he said the following:

"Free-agent starter Marcus Stroman has informed the Yankees he's seriously interested in signing with them, but the Yankees have declined to make an offer."

Woof. That could change over the next couple of weeks depending on which hurlers sign contracts. If the Yankees don't acquire any of their top options, maybe they'll revisit the possibility of signing Stroman. The right-hander went 10-9 with a 3.95 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 119 strikeouts in 136.2 innings during the 2023 season.

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