Yankees emerging as front-runners to sign Marcus Stroman would be all-time flip

Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Right-hander Marcus Stroman has always been known as a pitcher whose stuff, bark and tenacity don't match his stature. He's a complex hurler in a tightly-wound package, but he's (mostly) been a model of consistency while standing on the actual mound, as opposed to when he's staring down executives and critics in a war of words.

Those types of pitchers can either thrive in New York under the bright lights more than they've ever thrived before, or they can melt down almost instantaneously, with poor starts leading to unjustified gestures flowing directly into Instagram Lives and (rumored) locker room tantrums.

Considering the way Stroman has behaved in the public sphere since the 2019 trade deadline sent him to the Mets rather than the Yankees, it would be tough to believe he could bottle up the emotions that have bled out so many times and harness them for good. Factor in his year-over-year regression since 2021 (3.02 ERA to 3.50 to 3.95, 179 innings to back-to-back seasons under 140), and you've got a potentially destructive combination.

And yes, if he's read this far, he's probably blocked me on Twitter already. Because it appears to be time for Stroman to get reacquainted with Yankees Twitter after deleting all his anti-Brian Cashman messages, as Jon Morosi reported Wednesday morning that the Yankees have somehow become the "top candidate" to sign the righty. This, of course, coming days after Bob Nightengale reported that Stroman had asked the team to pursue him, only for Cashman and Co. to decline.

Yankees Rumors: NYY leading pack to sign Marcus Stroman?!

Can't wait for you to cover those "latest details" on MLB Network, Morosi! Because, at this moment, the "latest" on Stroman represents a complete reversal from 72 hours ago (and every waking moment since Summer 2019). Take this with the thickest grain of salt you've ever taken anything; it hasn't exactly been a banner offseason for Morosi. Perhaps Stroman's on a plane to the Bronx as we speak.

Could Stroman be an effective No. 3 or 4 in the Bronx, with a Gold Glove shortstop behind him and potentially Oswald Peraza sooner rather than later? Absolutely; his FIP has held steady the past few years (3.49, 3.76, 3.58), indicating a modicum of bad luck.

Of course, we've also heard it's bad luck to commit multiple years to pitchers who've publicly hated your guts for a half-decade. So this really could go either way.