4 alternative free agent targets for the Phillies with Sonny Gray off the market

WBC Team Japan starting pitcher Shōta Imanaga
WBC Team Japan starting pitcher Shōta Imanaga / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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Marcus Stroman

Ever since he opted out of his contract with the Cubs at the beginning of the month, chatter surrounding Marcus Stroman has dwindled significantly. Turning down the remaining $21 million left on his contract in Chicago was somewhat of a risky move, given that he went down with a hip injury in August and only pitched 136 innings by the end of the year. It's possible that he's working quietly behind the scenes to see if he can get more from anyone else, and the teams with the biggest pockets would be the best places to turn. Although it probably wouldn't be for long, as Stroman will be 33 for most of the 2024 season, he could be a good signing for the ever-rich Phillies as a short-stint No. 3 or 4 starter.

Stroman got off to a great start in Chicago this year, posting a sub-3.00 ERA until late July, only a few starts before he was placed on the IL with hip inflammation that spiraled into a rib issue. He came back for four more appearances in September to rough results (he pitched to an 8.63 ERA), but he still ended the year with a better K/9 and HR/9 rate than 2022, as well as his second career All-Star appearance in July.

It's likely that Stroman can expect a two or three year contract for around $20 million a year, which would put him between Gray and Shōta Imanaga in terms of affordability. Taking into account his All-Star April through June this year and being forgiving of his last appearances in September, Stroman can clearly still be a formidable starter. With a career rather comparable in numbers to Gray's, he could be a fine replacement for the Phillies.