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Yankees’ Marcus Stroman says he and Brian Cashman ‘laughed about’ past beef after signing new contract

Marcus Stroman is officially a member of the New York Yankees. The Yankees announced Stroman’s two-year, $37 million contract on Wednesday, then they introduced him to reporters with a Zoom call on Thursday afternoon. Not surprisingly, it did not take long for Stroman’s past beef with Yankees GM Brian Cashman to come up.

A refresher: Cashman said the Yankees did not see Stroman as a “difference-maker” in Sept. 2019, after declining to trade for him at the deadline (Stroman was instead dealt to the New York Mets). Stroman shot back on social media several times over the next few months, mostly calling out the team’s pitching and failure to get to the World Series despite having such a high payroll.

Here’s what Stroman said Thursday about the past issues with Cashman (via the New York Post):

“(Our talk) was quick, man. It was quick. We literally laughed about it,” Stroman told reporters Thursday on a Zoom call. “He let me know his quick little piece about how it didn’t necessarily come out essentially how he wanted it to. He let me know that I was someone who he thought was always gonna be a good competitor, someone who could handle the lights, someone who thrives in the pressure, and that was kind of the ultimate draw.

“I’m not someone who shies away from the limelight or pressure. I think a lot of guys would avoid coming to New York and playing for the Yankees because of that reason. I’m someone who, like I said, I feel like it brings out the best in me.”

Cashman and Stroman met face to face to smooth things over before the two sides agreed to the contract. Stroman also met with manager Aaron Boone at one point, and reportedly spoke Yankees captain Aaron Judge as well.

Although a public back and forth is never good, players and the GM do not have to like each other. They just need to be able to have a productive professional relationship and put on a smile publicly. At minimum, that’s what Cashman and Stroman have done, and perhaps they truly have hashed things out and it’s a non-issue. We may never know for certain.

Now 32, Stroman will join reigning AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodón, Nestor Cortes, and Clarke Schmidt in New York’s rotation. The club is not expected to pursue any further high-priced rotation additions (i.e. Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell) but could reinforce the bullpen.

Last season the Yankees went 82-80 and missed the postseason for the first time since 2016. Stroman had a 3.95 ERA in 136 2/3 innings around hip and rib cage injuries with the Chicago Cubs.

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