This Cubs team will have a flare of fun with Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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The 2021 version of the Chicago Cubs has a lot of question marks, but one thing that’s not a question is the nostalgic feel to this team that will make it at least a little bit more fun.

It was officially announced on Wednesday that the Cubs agreed to a one-year contract with Jake Arrieta for this season, as well as a minor league deal with Pedro Strop. Both pitchers were instrumental in helping the Cubs break the infamous World Series drought back in 2016.

Cub fans have grown impatient with the leveling out that this team has done since then, and with the trade of Yu Darvish, fans need something to be excited about.

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In parts of seven seasons with the Cubs, Strop appeared in 411 games with a 2.90 ERA. He had 425 strikeouts in 373 innings while recording 29 saves. Strop has pitched in 20 postseason games for Chicago with a 2.12 ERA, allowing just four runs. He did not give up a run in the entire World Series against the Indians.

Arrieta has seen arguably his *only* Major League success in a Cubs uniform. Over 128 starts he posted a 2.73 ERA over 803 innings. He struck out 793 and also won the Cy Young back in 2015, threw two no-hitters and started games two and six of the World Series. For comparison, his time with the Phillies yielded a 4.36 ERA over 64 starts and his time with the Orioles yielded a 5.46 ERA over 63 starts.

He’s made nine playoff starts with a 3.08 ERA over 52 2/3rd innings and 66 strikeouts. He kicked off the Cubs’ run by starting the 2015 Wild Card game against the Pirates, pitching a complete game and effectively ending the Pirates before they even got started.

Arrieta also won a Silver Slugger for pitchers at the plate. Who says they can’t hit? The fact is that Strop and Arrieta will sell tickets in 2021, and if fans are allowed Wrigley will be as full as it can be like usual, bringing back two Cubs’ legends is just a cherry on top.

Cubs fans will appreciate seeing Arrieta, Strop back with the team

There are fans who may just want to remember these two as what they were in Cub uniforms, and not what they are now, and I get it. There is a chance, albeit small, that being back “home” unlocks something from Arrieta and Strop’s past and the Cubs get a high return on their investments. On the other hand, there is a lot more mileage on Arrieta now, and they’re both getting older.

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Strop was not great in 2019 for the team and then was bitten by the injury bug in the shortened season with the Reds. Maybe he won’t ever be the guy he was and both Strop and Arrieta will be shells of their former selves. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be awesome seeing them in Cubbie Blue again.

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