Pedro Strop has emerged as a solid option in the Chicago Cubs bullpen. He has now been inked to a two year extension.
The Chicago Cubs made a move to sure up their bullpen for a couple more seasons. According to ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers, the Cubs have agreed to a contract extension with right-hand reliever Pedro Strop. The deal will last through the 2018 season, and will feature a team option for the 2019 season. Strop was set to hit the free-agent market next winter.
According to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Strop will make $5.85 million in 2018, and the year that the Cubs have the team option will be worth $6.25 million. The Cubs will have to pay Strop $500K to buy him out, if they decide to not use the team option on him in 2019. His current deal is now a two-year, $11.85 million deal.
Strop was very productive for the Cubs out of the bullpen last season. In 47.1 innings, he posted a 2.85 ERA, while striking out 11.4 batters per nine innings. He also had his career-best year in walk-rate, only allowing 2.9 walks per nine inning. His career-low WHIP of 0.887 was among the best in the National League last season.
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The Cub’s bullpen was just as impressive last season. They finished the season eighth in MLB in bullpen ERA at 3.56. That mark also ranked them at fourth in the National League. The bullpen also finished last in the National League in inning pitched. This is not thanks to the terrific play of their starters. Strop was a huge reason that the Cubs were so successful in closing out games, late in games.
The Cubs starters were part of the reason everything was so easy for the bullpen. The Cub’s starting rotation ended the 2016 season with a Major League best 2.96 ERA. To go along with that, the Cub’s starters through the second most innings in the Major Leagues last year, behind the Toronto Blue Jays. The consistency from top to bottom in their starting rotation took a huge load off of the bullpen last season.
The Chicago Cubs ended their World Series drought last year but are poised to make another deep playoff run again this year. The pitching will be the reason why. From the start of the game, to the end of it, the Cubs will come at you with talented arms. Pedro Strop is just one of many and he has been rewarded for his work. Watch out for the Cubs and for Strop to prove that last season was not a fluke.