Marcus Stroman said he hasn’t had time to process the last 24 hours.
“It was a bit of a whirlwind, to be honest, since last night,” Stroman said Wednesday.
You can say that again.
How quickly? Stroman was in California and got the last flight out Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
“I sprinted to LAX. “Literally sprinted to LAX,” Stroman said. “I got on the last flight here and I made it.”
The Cubs initially touched base with Stroman, along with other free agents, at the start of the offseason. Between now and then, a flurry of players came off the board — many starting pitchers — ahead of baseball’s lockout, which will freeze all transactions.
Despite the lockout looming, Stroman said he was in no rush to land a deal.
“Mentally I had prepared myself that I was going to go until March without signing,” he said. “Me and my family, that's how we just prepared.
“We were like, ‘All right, we’re just going to train, focus on family and then we'll see how this plays out.’”
Stroman left his free agent conversations to his agent in the initial stages of the offseason, but things with the Cubs picked up over Thanksgiving weekend. The Cubs started to act with urgency as pitchers began coming off the board.
Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman, Steven Matz, Max Scherzer and Jon Gray are among those who signed in the last week.
Stroman’s agent went to him Tuesday night conveying the Cubs’ interest and desire to get a deal done.
“Obviously, the Cubs, the franchise, the history, the tradition here, it's one of the best franchises in all sports and fan bases as well,” Stroman said. “It's extremely appealing to me.
“It's sells out every single night. To pitch in front of that electric crowd, it's something that kind of draws me. Once he told me the Cubs were in play, my senses were heightened.”
Stroman caught that last flight and made it to Chicago on Wednesday. He went through a physical to finalize his contract, meeting the front office and later touring his new home ballpark.
Stroman is excited to pitch in front of those sellout crowds at Clark and Addison. He said he’s talked to Cubs players in the past about their experiences playing in Chicago, including Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javy Báez, receiving positive reviews about the organization and city.
"I've heard nothing but the most incredible things about the organization since I've been in the big leagues, since 2014," he said.
“I felt like it was the right fit in my gut. I'm a very intuitive person. And Chicago, the Cubs just felt like the right fit for me. I'm excited to be here.”
With the deal done, Stroman can finally process his cross-country journey and eventful few days.
“I haven't even slept yet,” he said. “I'm sure when I get back to [California] on this flight in a little bit, I'm going to sit down, talk to my family, have a glass of wine and kind of go through everything.”