Long time Cubs reliever Pedro Strop is drawing interest in the free agent pool. Are the Brewers one of these teams? How much may he cost? Will he rebound in 2020?
Besides his former team, other teams interested include the Marlins, Rangers, and Brewers. As of January 20, 2020 it is reported that Strop is “mulling offers from multiple clubs”.
The report lists four teams with recent interest while Strop has three offers in hand. It’s unknown if the Brewers are one of the three teams that has given him an offer, or is the one team that hasn’t offered him.
Until the 2019 season, Pedro Strop had been one of the Cubs best relievers since joining the team in 2013. While hamstring and neck injuries limited Strop to 41.2 innings in 2019, he clearly was never fully healthy. His fastball velocity decreased, he lost his command ending the season with 4.32 BB:9, and his season ERA ended at 4.97.
Before 2019, Strop put together six consecutive season of sub-3.00 ERAs as a Chicago Cub. When healthy, he is a great addition to any bullpen with the ability to work in high leverage situations and close out games. He has 32 career saves, with 23 of them coming in the last two seasons. If the Brewers believe he’s healthy, it’s easy to see them push to make this kind of signing.
What could a contract look like?
Strop made $6.25mil for the Cubs in 2019. With eight years of MLB service time and having been pretty successful most of his career, he could make some decent money in 2020. A lower value deal for 2020, possibly incentive based, and an option for the 2021 season would make sense.
Should the Brewers sign him?
The bullpen has been one of the Brewers biggest strengths over the past few seasons, however Josh Hader is the only true anchor they have. With Corey Knebel returning from Tommy John surgery early in 2020, they could be in use of another dominant bullpen arm to help distribute the workload in crunch time.
It would truly be embarrassing for the Cubs franchise if they weren’t able to afford to keep one of their best relievers in recent years and watch him sign with Milwaukee. The Cubs fan base is already up in arms over their lack of spending this offseason and lack of improvements to the ball club and this would just be another cut to self-esteem down on the North Side.
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So why not Milwaukee? Go out and sign the man who tilts the brim of his hat!