Just two days after signing reliever Juan Nicasio to a minors deal, the Texas Rangers are reportedly expressing interest in reuniting with Pedro Strop.
The Texas Rangers are still looking for that one impact free agent signing to help be a catalyst in the Globe Life Field in 2020, but until that moment comes, they continue to look at options that can shore up depth. Most recently, they’ve been connected with a potential reunion with free agent reliever Pedro Strop according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.
In a follow up tweet is where Nicholson-Smith mentions the Rangers as an interested party along with the Marlins, Brewers and Cubs with whom Strop has spent the last six and a half seasons. Strop is a name that many Rangers fans will be familiar with after he pitched in the upper levels of the club’s Minor League system and spent parts of two and a half seasons with the big league team from 2009-11.
Strop, 34, has carved out a solid career for himself across 11 big league seasons posting a career 3.21 ERA and 3.38 FIP. His most successful time has come in Chicago where he’s played an important role in the bullpen of the Cubs, a period in which the team has made numerous postseason runs. From 2014-18, Strop went five straight seasons with an ERA under 3.00 with WHIPs that never were higher than the 1.177 mark in 2017.
Last season though was a down year for Strop and showed some significant regression as he saw his ERA leap to 4.97 in 50 relief outings for the Cubs. He finished with 10 saves on the year and threw 41.2 innings striking out 49 and posting a 1.272 WHIP. There was a significant jump in hits per nine innings and walks per nine though last season which played a role in his poor statistical campaign.
While his 2019 year raises some red flags, the consistency he’s shown across an impressive big league career is likely what interests a Texas ball club that is searching for impact relievers to join Jose Leclerc and Rafael Montero. Those two look likely to form the closer and setup roles respectively for Texas but the Rangers still are likely to add other late inning relievers. Strop would add some competition to a setup role and could be a 7th inning option for Texas that will hope its new and improved rotation will lessen the burden on its bullpen next year.