Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts is with the team in London this week, and while most of the conversation has centered around the team’s recent successes, talk has also consistently drifted back to the status of a possible contract extension for Marcus Stroman.
Stroman, who leads the National League in ERA and has a 9-4 record on the season, with 14 quality starts in 16 trips to the mound, has said that he is interested in staying in Chicago beyond this season, and Ricketts says that he is receptive to the idea.
“I’m really excited Marcus wants to stay,” he said during an interview with 670 the Score’s Mully and Haugh Show. “I know he’s a very talented player and a big part of this team, and it feels like he’s in the right place.”
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Cubs fans seem to agree with Ricketts’ assertion, chanting Stroman’s name during a fan rally on Thursday afternoon at a pub in London.
Ricketts told the crowd to “send those requests to Jed Hoyer,” according to Chicago Tribune beat reporter Meghan Montemurro, and he said that his stance is that he needs to let Hoyer and GM Carter Hawkins take care of the contract situation.
“I always say that I let the baseball guys make the baseball decisions,” he said. “Details on his contract are something Jed and Carter will work out with Marcus and his team.”
Discussions of a Stroman extension have intensified in recent weeks as Stroman went public with the status of negotiations, saying the Cubs “weren’t interested” in exploring an extension earlier this month.
Hoyer said that he would keep the status of negotiations in-house, but later said that he was happy that Stroman wanted to stay.
“He really wants to be here,” he said in an interview on the Mully and Haugh Show. “That’s a great thing. I feel like he’s been so positive for us since he got here.”
In 16 starts this season, Stroman has a 2.28 ERA and 83 strikeouts. He is third in Major League Baseball and tops in the National League in ERA, and also leads all pitchers in Wins Above Replacement at 4.0, according to ESPN.
He is slated to take the ball in the Sunday finale of the two-game London series against the St. Louis Cardinals, with Justin Steele starting the opener on Saturday.