Former Chicago Cubs star Pedro Strop is reportedly weighing offers from multiple teams and one of the clubs in the mix could be his former team. Sportsnet reporter Ben Nicholson-Smith said the 34-year-old right-handed reliever has two offers from National League teams and one American League club showing interest.
Other MLB teams have reportedly kicked the tires on the once-dominant relief pitcher but the Cubs, the Miami Marlins, the Texas Rangers, and the Milwaukee Brewers are believed to be the ones showing the most interest.
MLB Trade Rumors‘ Steve Adams pointed out it’s unclear what combination of teams are the front runners, but of that group, the Cubs are the least likely serious suitor. He believes it makes the most sense if the three teams going the hardest after Strop are the Brewers, Marlins, and Rangers.
Miami had been tied to the former Chicago closer before this offseason. Two weeks ago, Craig Mish of FNTSY Sports Radio believed an agreement between the two was imminent. It’s possible the injury problems that have plagued Strop the last two seasons might have convinced the Marlins to back off a bit.
A combination of hamstring and neck injuries in 2019 limited Strop to just 41 2/3 innings. While he notched a respectable 49 strikeouts, he also posted a 4.97 earned run average.
That ERA was easily the highest of Pedro’s Cubs’ career and the first time he’d posted one above 2.91 since a half-season in Baltimore in 2013. The Orioles shipped the reliever to Chicago as part of a deadline deal alongside starter Jake Arrieta. Both pitchers eventually played an integral part in the team’s run to the World Series in 2016.
In part, because of his abrupt turnaround upon arriving in the Windy City, Strop has been a Cubs fan favorite. Many analysts believe his struggles can be traced to a 2018 hamstring injury he suffered while attempting to beat out a hit in an extra-innings plate appearance.
As relief market develops, Pedro Strop is a name to watch. Heard the 34-year-old right-hander has three offers (2 NL teams, 1 AL team) & will likely make a decision in the next week or so. Strop spent last year with Cubs, posting 4.97 ERA with 49 Ks, 20 BB in 41.2 innings #MLB
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) January 19, 2020
The following spring training, the reliever suffered another hamstring injury as he struggled throughout 2019.
Adams believes the Brewers, Marlins, and Rangers make the most sense when it comes to the Pedro Strop sweepstakes because of their individual needs. Miami has been reshaping its roster while signaling its intention to start competing again after going through a rebuilding process.
The Brewers have a “deep collection” of arms but have not been shy about adding veteran arms on team-friendly deals. Meanwhile, the Rangers are opening a new stadium in 2020 and have been aggressive in reforming its roster into one that can compete for the playoffs.