Yankees pitcher Marcus Stroman throws in Tampa, Fla. on Saturday Feb....

Yankees pitcher Marcus Stroman throws in Tampa, Fla. on Saturday Feb. 17, 2024. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

TAMPA, Fla. — Marcus Stroman sounded as if he’s still pinching himself.

“I feel like just playing for the New York Yankees as an organization is like the pinnacle of the sport,” said Stroman, in the first season of the two-year, $37 million free-agent deal he signed last month. “I feel like every player, when you embark on this journey to play at the highest level, I feel like everyone wants to be a Yankee at some point . . . It’s an honor to put the pinstripes on and I don’t take that lightly and I’m excited to get to work.”

The 32-year-old product of Patchogue-Medford High School arrived in Tampa about two weeks ago and worked out regularly at the club’s nearby minor-league complex before pitchers and catchers reported last week.

Stroman, 77-76 with a 3.65 ERA in nine seasons, took the Steinbrenner Field mound for the first time on Monday, throwing a live batting-practice session. Rookie catcher Austin Wells homered off him, but he was sharp otherwise.

“I’m just trying to dial in my mechanics,” Stroman said. “I’m so in tune with my body and my mechanics, so I can feel whenever one little thing is off. So for me, it’s just getting consistent. Each pitch I want to be almost identical pitch to pitch mechanically. Obviously, I’m not there yet, but I feel like I will be over the next few weeks. Definitely made good strides from where I was a few weeks ago and looking to go out there on Sunday and have some real game action.”

Soto-Cano connection

In his first news conference of spring training, Juan Soto said his favorite player while growing up in the Dominican Republic was Robinson Cano, a five-time All-Star during his time as a Yankee from 2005-13.

Soto said that since making it to the majors, he’s established a relationship with Cano, whom he called “a mentor.”

“It’s incredible what he’s [done] for me,” Soto said.

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