Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman wants to remain in the Windy City, despite an opportunity to potentially sign a lucrative contract elsewhere. Stroman has a $21 million player option in his contract with the Cubs for the 2024 season. Given the way that Marcus Stroman has pitched through the first two-plus months of the 2023 season, it might only make financial sense for Stroman to test free agency.

Stroman would seemingly rather sign a contract extension with the Cubs and forgo free agency. Chicago's pitcher explained on Twitter that the organization has declined his invitation to negotiate a contract extension during the season.

“My agent and I made multiple attempts to engage them on an extension,” Stroman said of the Cubs. “Club wasn’t interested in exploring it now. Will see how it plays out! Love everything about the Cubs organization!”

The two sides explored a potential contract extension in the spring, according to Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun Times. No deal was agreed upon.

The Cubs might want to keep their options open in terms of a trade before making a long-term commitment to Stroman. Chicago is off to an underwhelming 27-36 start. If the Cubs choose to become sellers at the trade deadline, the team could potentially send Stroman to a contender in exchange for multiple promising young players.

Through 14 starts, Stroman is a top 2023 NL Cy Young candidate. The right-hander leads the league with 85.2 innings pitched. Stroman is 7-4 with a 2.42 ERA and 73 strikeouts. His 1.04 WHIP and 6.1 hits allowed per nine innings rank as the best marks among all NL starting pitchers.

Stroman had a 3.50 ERA last year in what was his first season with the Cubs. Stroman could be in line for a nine-figure contract, whether he signs an extension or goes elsewhere in free agency.