Chicago Cubs extend Pedro Strop through 2018
By Jake Misener
Adding at least one year of team control, the Chicago Cubs extended Pedro Strop on Friday at a $5.5 million salary for the 2018 season. The deal also includes a team option for 2019 at $6.25 million with a $500,000 buyout.
Strop, 31, has been one of the most consistent bullpen arms since coming over in the same trade that brought the Chicago Cubs Jake Arrieta. He totaled over 210 innings in the last three-plus seasons. This includes pitching to a 2.68 ERA and 10.8 SO/9 over that stretch.
The extension gives Chicago more stability in a bullpen that is counting upon the health of closer Wade Davis. The former Royals’ ninth-inning man is set to hit the market at the conclusion of the 2017 season. Add in Koji Uehara, who is 41 years old, and the significance of this extension only grows.
Strop appeared in just 54 games last season, still putting up a respectable 2.85 ERA over 47 1/3 innings. That number falls directly in line with his 2.91 fielding independent pitching (FIP) mark, as well. His control during the 2016 campaign ranked as the best of his big-league career; that is, if you’re measuring it off his strikeout-to-walk ratio.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
His mid-to-high 90s fastball and devastating slider have played an integral part in the Cubs’ resurgence over the last two seasons. Paired with Hector Rondon, Strop gives Chicago a legitimate bridge to the ninth inning – an area many teams struggle to build.
While everyone remembers that lopsided trade between the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles, the hard-throwing right-hander is often forgotten. That happens when the other man acquired in the deal wins a National League Cy Young Award, but, regardless, extending Strop is a big step for this front office.
John Lackey, Jake Arrieta, Brett Anderson, Uehara and Davis are among the Cubs’ notable free agents to-be.