Free-agent righty Pedro Strop is mulling offers from multiple clubs, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet (Twitter links). The longtime Cubs setup man has three offers in hand at the moment, Nicholson-Smith adds, citing the Marlins, Brewers, Cubs and Rangers as teams who’ve been showing interest of late.
While it’s not clear which combination of that group has offers on the table, it’d be a surprise to see the Cubs make a competitive offer following ownership’s recent spending limitations and the team’s general lack of offseason activity to date. Nicholson-Smith does indicate that two NL clubs and an AL team have put an offer out to Strop, which at least speculatively speaking, would make the Marlins, Brewers and Rangers a trio that fits the description. Miami was already tied to Strop two weeks ago when FNTSY Sports Radio’s Craig Mish reported their interest.
Hamstring and neck injuries limited Strop to just 41 2/3 innings in 2019 and quite possibly hindered his on-field production; the typically hard-throwing righty logged a 4.97 ERA and saw his heater dip from an average of 95.1 mph in 2018 to 93.6 mph in 2019. That said, Strop still racked up strikeouts at an impressive clip (10.6 K/9) and notched a quality 13.5 percent swinging-strike rate.
And, of course, prior to his down year in 2019, Strop was a consistent force in the Chicago ’pen. The right-hander posted five consecutive sub-3.00 ERA seasons from 2014-18, pitching to a combined 2.61 mark (3.10 FIP) with averages of 10.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and 0.6 HR/9 with a ground-ball rate well north of 50 percent. The Marlins have seen considerable turnover in their bullpen already this winter and are said to be eyeing a veteran addition along the lines of last year’s Sergio Romo pickup. The Brewers, meanwhile, already have a deep collection of arms but never shy away from a late-offseason value play. And the Rangers, of course, have been aggressive in reshaping their club in preparation for the opening of their new stadium in 2020.