This one is a no-brainer. The Chicago Cubs took a chance and found an ace, as well as a bullpen anchor. Strop has worked out of numerous big spots during his tenure, and Arrieta has become nothing short of dominant. They turned a one year deal from a mediocre pitcher into a dominant ace and great setup man.
Arrieta didn’t come without questions, though. With Baltimore, Arrieta averaged nearly four BB/9 and had an ERA of well over five. Since joining the Cubs, he’s lowered his ERA by nearly three runs, his walk rate is down to just 1.3 BB/9.
Arrieta has transformed himself into one of the best pitchers in baseball. He’s added a Cy Young to his resume as well. Arrieta is a guy that Cubs fans would love to see signed to an extension after 2017.
As for Strop, he has become stable in the back-end of the bullpen for the Cubs. Not only has Strop established himself as one of the most dominant relievers in the National League, he’s settled into that 8th inning, setup role, setting it up for Hector Rondon in the 9th. However, now Strop may have to settle into the 7th inning, and Rondon may set it up for the newly acquired closer, Aroldis Chapman.
Since joining the Cubs, Strop has never had an ERA greater than three. To put that into a little perspective, his career ERA is 3.25, which speaks to how much he struggled before coming over to the Cubs. His Batting average against with the Cubs has never been above .200.
It’s remarkable that Strop has maintained his consistency for as long as he has. This trade really helped the Cubs take that next step during the rebuild. Strop is a free agent after this year, and the Cubs should really look at working out a new deal to bring him back.
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