The Cubs and Pedro Strop had been heading toward an arbitration hearing, but now that’s not going to happen:
Cubs, Strop avoid arbitration with $5.5 million settlement— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) February 12, 2017
According to MLB Trade Rumors’ Arbitration Tracker, that’s a little bit above the midpoint of what the Cubs had offered ($4.6 million) and what Strop had asked for ($6 million).
Strop made $4.4 million last year, and has been an effective reliever for the Cubs for the last 3½ seasons, posting a 2.68 ERA, 0.984 WHIP and six saves in 232 appearances covering 211⅓ innings. That’s made him worth 2.4 bWAR over his time with the Cubs, and he’s been a solid middle reliever.
Strop turns 32 in June, and seems likely to be effective again, but probably too expensive for the Cubs to keep as he heads to free agency after 2017. That’s why it’s good that Theo & Co. are loading up on bullpen depth this year.
The signing completes all the contracts for the Cubs’ arbitration-eligible players; the rest of the not-yet-eligible-for-arb players will have their contracts renewed soon. The signing also means the Theo regime has still not had any player actually go to an arbitration hearing (Strop and Jake Arrieta both had hearings scheduled last year, but both signed before the hearing date). The last Cubs arb hearing was for Ryan Theriot in 2010.
Pitchers and catchers are due in camp Tuesday and the first pitcher/catcher workout at the back fields at Sloan Park will be Wednesday.