The Cincinnati Reds have landed right-handed reliver Pedro Strop on a one-year, $1.825M deal, with performance bonuses that can raise the total value to $3.5M. The deal was first reported by Hector Gomez. Strop spent the 2019 season with the Chicago Cubs, making appearances in 50 games for a total of 41.2 innings. Strop posted a 4.97 ERA with a WHIP of 1.272 and an ERA+ of 90. 2019 was a step backwards for Pedro Strop, as he posted his first ERA above 3.00 since 2013 and spent two stints on the injured list for neck tightness and a hamstring strain.
Despite a less than ideal 2019 season, this is a good signing for the Reds. Strop has appeared in at least 50 games every year since 2012 and has posted an ERA+ of at least 131 in every year since 2013, outside of 2019. The takeaway from those two things is that Strop makes for a very appealing bounce back candidate in 2020. If Strop, with the help of pitching coach Derek Johnson, can stay healthy and gain back the velocity he lost in 2019, then he will find himself in the mix as a late-inning option for the Reds. Another thing to watch for with Pedro Strop is how his addition will affect the current clubhouse dynamic. Strop was involved in an incident that led to the benches clearing, after hitting Yasiel Puig on July 29th. In the postgame interview, Strop was quoted calling Puig “stupid.” Even though Puig is no longer with the Reds, most fans and players will remember the incident and it will be interesting to see what impact, if any, that has moving forward.
The bullpen has been an area the Reds have set out to improve this offseason and the addition of Strop helps that cause. With the addition of Pedro Strop, the Reds bullpen begins to take better shape. Most likely, Raisel Iglesias will be closing games, with Michael Lorenzen, Amir Garrett, Robert Stephenson, and Strop working high leverage situations. In addition to Strop, this offseason, the Reds have signed Tyler Thornburg, Nate Jones, David Carpenter, and Jesse Biddle to minor league deals with invites to spring training.
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