The trade that sent Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger to Baltimore will go down as one of the most lopsided ever, and that’s just considering one of the players the Cubs got back. But while the headliner of that deal, Jake Arrieta, has an uncertain future in Chicago, the other player who came over has just signed an extension with the Cubs.
Pedro Strop agreed Friday to a two-year, $11.85 million deal ($5.5M this year, $5.85M next) that also has a $6.25 million club option for 2019 ($500K buyout). Strop would have been a free agent in 2018, so this extension buys him out of at least one year of free agency. While it might cost him a little in the long run, guaranteed money from a winner is always a good bet for a pitcher on the wrong side of 30 (Strop turns 32 on June 13).
“Pedro’s been a rock for us down there (in the bullpen),” Jed Hoyer said Friday. “You look at his numbers the last three years, he’s been one of the best setup guys in the game”
Moved out of the closer’s role last year by Aroldis Chapman and again this year by Wade Davis, Hector Rondon has one more arb-eligible season before he’s eligible to test the market. Davis will likely move on after this season, leaving a vacancy that could be filled by Carl Edwards Jr, if not Rondon. This move, then, helps to solidify the back end of the pen as the Cubs transition over the next couple seasons.
When healthy and in control, Strop has electric stuff and can easily make this extension look like a bargain. At the very least, he’s one of those fan favorites (unless you’re a stickler for wearing hats “the right way”) who everyone loves to have around. Either way, I like this deal for both the Cubs and Strop.
Now to see whether the Cubs have a few more of these to announce as Spring Training action gets underway.