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The first potential suitor in the potential sweepstakes for Chicago Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman has been identified, and as it turns out, it’s one of Stroman’s former teams.

Chicago radio station 670 The Score, which covers the Cubs, reported on Sunday that the Toronto Blue Jays have shown interest in acquiring their former starter, if he becomes available by the Aug. 1 trade deadline.

The report indicates that the Blue Jays’ interest is “strong” and that the “Cubs and Jays have done their due diligence on the strength of each other's farm systems.”

Stroman was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft and made his MLB debut in 2014. In six seasons with Toronto, he went 47-45 with a 3.76 ERA and was named an All-Star in 2019.

The New York Mets acquired him in a trade with Toronto in 2019. He sat out the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and went 10-13 with the Mets in 2021 before he arrived in Chicago last season.

The 32-year-old is having one of the best seasons of his career. He is 10-6 with a 2.88 ERA, 101 strikeouts and a 1.09 WHIP. He’s a big reason why the Cubs, despite being under.-500, are still considering buying at the trade deadline.

The Cubs’ situation is a complicated one. While under .500, they are the only NL Central team with a positive run differential. President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said on Friday that he’s not sure which direction the team will go and the next two weeks will make that determination.

Stroman has repeatedly said he would love to stay in Chicago and wants an extension. He’s not expecting an extension before the trade deadline.

Stroman’s option year complicates matters for the Cubs. He can trigger a $21 million option for the 2024 season, but he is widely expected to bypass the option and hit free agency.

Still, Stroman said after his start on Saturday that he would have no problem signing with Chicago in the offseason, even if the Cubs trade him.

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