The Cubs picked up Pedro Strop’s $6.25 million option for 2019. As the longest tenured Cub, he deserves more. Hopefully he’s not too old to secure the bag when he hits free agency next year.
If they made a local version of the Ken Griffey Jr. Let the Kids Play MLB promo, it might feature someone’s misinformed dad calling Pedro Strop a thug because of how he wears his hat. (Although, at 33, Strop is no kid.) Studious fans know Strop doesn’t bust it to the left to be a punk. He’s worn it like that since childhood and it’s a comfort thing on the mound – a place he’s obviously comfortable. Check out Strop’s ERA by season since he was acquired mid-2013 from the Orioles in the MOST LOPSIDED TRADE IN RECENT BASEBALL HISTORY.
2013: 37 appearances 2.83 ERA
2014: 65 appearances 2.21 ERA
2015: 76 appearances 2.91 ERA
2016: 54 appearances 2.85 ERA
2017: 69 appearances 2.83 ERA
2018: 60 appearances 2.26 ERA
It may not be Andrew Miller territory for a set-up man but it’s close. He hasn’t had Miller’s level of postseason success, either, but he was perfect in 2 innings of work over 3 games in the 2016 World Series. You need him to close a game (or 13)? No problem. Middle relief? Won’t hear a complaint from Strop. Need a scoreless inning in 3 straight games? Call Stropy. Justin Wilson walked the bases loaded? Pedro will get a K and a twin killing. Strop is also beloved in the clubhouse. Remember Joe Maddon’s Dress Like Strop Day? His teammates ate it up.
The way he returned from that bad hammy to throw a scoreless inning in the Wild Card loss to the Rockies was the stuff of legends. Something tells me he’ll have another reliable year and then I hope he gets fucking paid. Secure the bag, Pedro.