For years, we've wondered whether Marcus Stroman's animosity towards the Yankees following his snub at the 2019 trade deadline came from something deeper, or was generated from a surface-level slight. Now, as of Thursday night, we know; his childhood fandom was always insinuated, but never confirmed. When he took breaking the news of his signing into his own hands this week by posting a throwback photo of himself wearing a Yankees sweatshirt as a kid, it became clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was lashing out because he'd had a dream torn away by Brian Cashman.
Turns out, that dream was merely deferred; Stroman agreed to a two-year deal with a vesting option that pays him just $18.5 million annually to fill out the middle of the Yankees' rotation. It's a bargain, but the lowered price did very little to strip away the inherent controversy.
Stroman has a lengthy history of going back and forth with members of the Yankees' fan base, mostly because he struggled to channel his rage directly at Brian Cashman in the online octagon. According to reports, this accord came together because he and Cashman had a productive face-to-face ... but that doesn't erase the last four years.
NOTE: This is an attempt at an exhaustive list of Yankees-related side swipes from the newest Yankees pitcher. He's also been a part of other, noteworthy controversial moments, including liking a Tweet that referred to a Mets beat writer as an anti-Italian slur. Generously, he at the very least has to get more careful.
Yankees-Marcus Stroman Beef: Complete History
Stroman's "I'll Show Them" standoff with the Yankees began at the 2019 trade deadline, when Brian Cashman stayed put while the Mets jumped in and met the Blue Jays' asking price in a Stroman trade.
According to reports -- whether you believe them or you're dubious -- Stroman threw a tantrum in the closed Jays locker room, then regained his composure and delivered a few platitudes about the Mets to reporters.
But the beef leveled up when Cashman went on record a bit later and claimed that he'd avoided a Stroman trade because he didn't believe the righty would be a difference-maker. Shades of Jordan Montgomery for sure -- except this non-difference maker came back, 4.5 years later (and surely ... better?). Adding Stroman this week was the conclusion of an all-time Cashman logic puzzle, made more confounding by the multiple moments between then and now when the right-hander took unprovoked shots at the Yankees' roster construction, fandom, and collective mentality.
In 2020, he began fanning the flames by going after the (surprise, surprise) non-Gerrit Cole members of the rotation, stating, “Besides (Gerrit) Cole, there’s no current Yankee pitcher who will be anywhere in my league over the next 5-7 years. Their pitching always folds in the end."
Just a year later, he'd expanded his focus, choosing to take shots at Cole, too. He liked a tweet after the 2021 season posted by -- who else? -- Jared Carrabis that called the Yankees' ace the "biggest baby" in the sport.
Though the Stroman-Cole standoff never leaked into the press room or onto the field like the Josh Donaldson beef, it's fair to wonder whether Cole -- who's recently advocated for Blake Snell -- might be let down by the consolation.
But that's not all! Stroman zeroed in on "false media reports" that claimed he wanted to be a Yankee during his Mets days (those media reports now feel a bit more accurate). He posted a performative GIF of 50 Cent driving away and laughing before launching into another anti-Yankee rant when asked about joining the team after 2021 ("You mad because that crazy payroll continues to let you down year after year?"). Stroman even decided to "roll with (Alek) Manoah" after he called Cole the "worst cheater in baseball history."
Ideally, the tide has turned and the ketchup can be gently placed back in the bottle (after being collected, of course, off Curt Schilling's sock).
While a video resurfaced this week (of course it did) of Stroman Shuffling in Juan Soto's face after striking him out, the slugger swiftly buried the hatchet with his new teammate this week, commenting, "We shuffle together now" with some cry-laughing emojis tacked on. The future had better be brighter than the past, and hopefully that represents the moment the tide turned.