If a series of Tuesday tweets are any indication, the White Sox might have to cross one of the winter’s top free-agent starting pitchers off their list.
Marcus Stroman, who might be the second best pitcher on the free-agent market, seemed to show an unwillingness to sign with the White Sox this winter following their hiring of manager Tony La Russa.
Monday night’s news that La Russa was charged with a DUI stemming from a February arrest, and that the White Sox knew about the arrest prior to bringing him back as skipper, was greeted with plenty of criticism on Twitter. Stroman spent Tuesday morning responding to a few of those tweets, going as far to suggest La Russa’s presence would be a reason to sign elsewhere — regardless of the kind of contract he was offered.
Stroman, who is Black, also responded to tweets that mixed the news of La Russa’s DUI arrest with the manager’s history of comments critical of athletes protesting the police killings of Black Americans.
Stroman even responded to four-year-old tweets about La Russa’s original comments on anthem protests and race in baseball, hammering home his point.
During his introductory press conference Oct. 29, La Russa answered several questions on his current stance on anthem protests, saying “anything peacefully done and sincerely thought of and especially with an action at the end of it will not be a problem.”
The White Sox expressly outlined starting pitching of one of the needs they’re looking to address this offseason, and the 29-year-old Stroman would figure to be of interest. He didn’t pitch for the New York Mets this season after tearing his calf muscle in July and opting out of the shortened 2020 season in August. A former ace with the Toronto Blue Jays, he returned to form with an All-Star campaign in 2019, with a 3.22 ERA pitching for both the Blue Jays and the Mets.