The Chicago Cubs are reportedly in the market for relief help, and at least one analyst thinks that means they could be setting up a reunion with an old friend. The Cincinnati Reds recently released Pedro Strop, and Brett Taylor of Bleacher Nation wrote on Thursday that he thinks the former closer’s return to the Windy City is more than just a journey down memory lane. The analyst believes Strop might be on the cusp of signing a new contract with his old team.
On the Bleacher Nation Twitter account, the analyst showed that Strop was posting images to his Instagram account that looked quite familiar. Eventually, the reliever did post pictures that made it clear he had arrived in Chicago.
Taylor was quick to point out that Strop’s arrival didn’t mean anything concrete. He was designated for assignment just days ago and might have decided he wanted to go on a road trip.
Considering Strop spent the last seven seasons of his Major League career with the Cubs before this summer, it’s also possible he still has some ties to the city. The writer said it’s possible that he was just visiting some friends.
But Taylor doesn’t believe the trip is just a coincidence.
Sure enough, Pedro Strop is in Chicago. ???? pic.twitter.com/Jv5dNnPWpF
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) August 28, 2020
He also doesn’t think that if Strop is getting a new contract, it doesn’t’ necessarily mean an extended stay in the “friendly confines” of Wrigley Field. He may be just stopping into town to sign the deal and take a physical.
Strop suffered a groin injury earlier this summer, so he would have to show he’s 100 percent recovered to any team interested in signing him.
It was posited that he might work out for the coaching staff to show he still has what it takes to make a major league roster. He could then be shipped off to South Bend, to the club’s “minor league” site to get some work in. He could then show that he belongs back in the big leagues and, as the writer said, potentially help out a bullpen that has struggled so far in 2020.
The writer admitted that there isn’t any guarantee Strop can be an actual net positive for the Cubs at this point in his career. The front office allowed him to depart as a free agent and sign with the Reds over the offseason after a shaky 2019.
While he did have 10 saves last season, he posted a 4.97 ERA; his worst earned run average since 2013.