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‘I would truly would love to stay a Cub’: Ahead of the trade deadline and player opt-out, Marcus Stroman says Cubs haven’t engaged in extension talks

Marcus Stroman has made clear he wants to engage in contract extension talks with the Chicago Cubs.

The feeling is not mutual, according to Stroman. President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer has repeatedly stated over the years he does not talk about players’ contract situations publicly. In this case, there does not appear to be engagement behind the scenes, either.

“I want nothing more than to be a Cub,” Stroman told reporters Saturday. “I kill myself 24/7 on and off the field to perform, to keep my body is position, to keep my mind in position.

“I truly believe I prepare like nobody else so I know my worth.”

Coming off another stellar start in Friday’s 3-2 win against the San Francisco Giants, allowing two runs in 6⅔ innings, the love from Cubs fans on Twitter calling for the team to extend him didn’t go unnoticed by the 32-year-old right-hander. It prompted Stroman to share his feelings about his Cubs future Saturday morning through a tweet that said, in part, “My agent and I made multiple attempts to engage them on an extension. Club wasn’t interested in exploring it now.”

“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, like, I want to be here more than anything,” Stroman said at Oracle Park. “So I made that known. There’s been no rebuttal from their side.

“Ideally I’d want to be a Cub, but it’s a business at the end of the day and that’s how it has to be handled at times.”

Stroman’s desire to stay with the Cubs on a new multiyear deal traces back to spring training when he was open with the Cubs front office about wanting to remain with the organization. Since then, Stroman said he and his agent reached out multiple times a month in an effort to talk and get something done.

If the Cubs do want to extend him before the trade deadline or his player opt out deadline after the season, Stroman indicated that has not been conveyed to him by the front office.

“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. I’m moving forward.”

Stroman remains open to a conversation with Hoyer for a new deal.

“Like I said, there’s been no talks, nothing substantial, it’s talking in circles — there’s nothing,” Stroman said. “I just know how this works, and how narratives start to be created from the top down and how they can push out narratives and how they can put the player against that. So I’m not going to allow that happen.”

Stroman earned $25 million in each of the first two years of the three-year contract he signed Dec. 1, 2021, just beating the clock before Major League Baseball locked out players. His player opt out will allow him to cash in on his two great seasons with the Cubs rather than finish the final year of his deal in which he would earn $21 million in 2024 that could increase by $2 million if he throws at least 160 innings this season.

When asked Tuesday in San Diego how he views Stroman’s situations with his contract and the trade deadline, Hoyer said, “I’m not going to comment on the contract.”

“I mean, obviously he’s thrown great this year,” Hoyer said. “Our focus is we need to be consistent as a team and claw our way back into the race. I don’t think it’s that far of a climb. We just need to play consistent baseball and my hope is that we do that.”

Over the last two years, Stroman owns a 3.09 ERA, 1.106 WHIP and 138 ERA+ with 224⅓ innings pitched over 39 starts.

“He’s been everything we hoped for when we signed him,” Hoyer said. “We’ve enjoy having him. We’ve given him the freedom to be himself and I think he’s reciprocated that by pitching great and he’s been terrific for us.”

This is a familiar position for Hoyer. Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Báez were traded in 2021 deadline deals as impending free agents after none could find middle ground with the Cubs. Willson Contreras similarly departed in free agency in the offseason. Ian Happ and Nico Hoerner bucked the trend with their extensions at the beginning of the season.

“That energy I get at Wrigley, even when we’re at away games, the energy that I feel from the fan base is incredible. I love it. I love everything about it,” Stroman said. “I feel like I feed off of that motivation and that buzz from the crowd and the people. So I love everything about the city of Chicago. You won’t ever catch me say anything bad. The fan base has been incredible. People treat me perfectly. I would truly would love to stay a Cub.

“You never know how it’s going to play out.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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