Marcus Stroman

MLB Insider: ‘I would trade (Marcus) Stroman'

The Score's Bruce Levine explains why he believes the Cubs should trade Marcus Stroman

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One of the most significant decisions the Cubs will have to make between now and the Aug. 1 MLB trade deadline is whether or not they want to trade Marcus Stroman.

The argument stems from the Cubs' lack of success this season. They are four games under .500 and 4.5 games back in the abysmal NL Central division. Is keeping Stroman and pushing for a division win worth it?

“I would trade Stroman," Levine said on the Mully & Haugh Show on Thursday morning. "People are probably driving off the road saying, ‘How are you going to trade the best pitcher in the National League right now?’ The reason is the chips are all on Stroman’s side. He can walk away from his contract – he’s making ($25 million) this year and ($21 million) next – he can walk away after this season.

"I don’t think you can afford to play that game. I don’t think the gamble is worth it. I think he’s a terrific pitcher. I don’t think they’re poised right now to offer him a five-year extension (worth $30 million annually). So with that said, what can you get for Stroman?

“It’s a guy that can make a difference in you winning a division and maybe going on and winning a World Series. Can (Stroman) do that for you right now? The answer is no. I think there are some really hard choices for (Jed) Hoyer to make here.”

As of this writing, Stroman holds the third-best ERA in MLB (2.47), the 15th-best WHIP (1.08) and the fifth-lowest opposing batting average (.203). He also has 85 strikeouts and 35 walks to go along with his impressive season resume.

Hence, Stroman will be looking for a healthy raise this offseason. He can opt out of the final year of his contract, as Levine mentioned, worth $21 million next season. Seeing as Stroman's in the race for the NL Cy Young, he should actively seek more money.

He has mentioned his desire to remain with the Cubs on a long-term deal, something the Cubs haven't acted upon, declaring they don't have those types of conversations during the season.

“I would love to stay here and sign an extension and not even get to free agency,” Stroman said to Ken Rosenthal in May.

Stroman tweeted himself the Cubs' lack of desire surrounding his contract situation.

The Cubs will first need to pick a direction they want to take the team this season before they decide on Stroman.

If, however, they don't sign him to an extension, and don't trade him before MLB's trade deadline, they could be in danger of losing one of the game's best pitchers for nothing.

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