Strop and the Other Outgoing Cubs Relievers, Big Market Spending, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Strop and the Other Outgoing Cubs Relievers, Big Market Spending, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Little Boy and I were solo yesterday without the girls, so we decided to be a couple stereotypical guys and start a fire on our back patio. I made sure to do it VERY safely, but also, without any of the actual proper materials available to do it, we basically wound up just burning some paper and singeing some leaves and twigs. It was still cool. Though The Little Boy just told me to tell you that he got some smoke in his mouth, “which did hurt, but it was also really funny.” I should probably talk to him about that …

  • How are you gonna let a guy with this much confidence go:

  • In all seriousness, it’s pretty clear that Pedro Strop finds himself in that tier of relievers where teams were not aggressive to pursue him on a significant guaranteed deal thanks to his very down and injured 2019 season (at age 34), and it is increasingly possible that he will wind up signing a minor league contract somewhere. If that happens, there’s a good chance it’ll be the Cubs. Could he be done either way? Well sure. Could he wind up bouncing back and contributing from there? Of course. Get him a year removed from multiple hamstring injuries (that he pitched through, and from which he came back too early), and maybe it comes back. In the meantime, he’s such a stellar presence in the organization that you just want him to be with your team in Spring Training, even if it ultimately isn’t going to work out.
  • Interesting, by the way, that none of the Cubs’ outgoing relievers has yet signed: Strop, Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler, David Phelps, and Derek Holland. The middle three seem like pretty good bets to be solid contributors somewhere in 2020, but I suspect they fell into that new gray area for older free agents: good enough to contribute, but not so obviously an upgrade that you have to rush out to guarantee them a significant deal. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs keep those three (plus Strop) on their radar into the new year.
  • Kintzler sure did have such a nice resurgence with the Cubs last year that I’d hope he, in particular, is looked at for a reunion.
  • The Red Sox are going to get grief for this:

  • I’m not going to tell anyone – especially Red Sox fans – not to give the organization grief. But I will point out that, if Boston doesn’t reset its luxury tax penalties, then signing a mere $4 million player like Shaw – if he was the difference between luxury tax and not – then the signing would wind up costing the Red Sox ten times that much in taxes, forfeited revenue, and future costs if they went over the tax next year. I am all for encouraging more player spending, but this is the reality created by the CBA – it is designed to create these kinds of utterly irrational situations. “Hmm, is the upgrade from youngster to Travis Shaw (half-win maybe?) worth $50 million? Probably not. So we should not push the market higher.” The problem is the CBA, and the way the luxury tax – especially in multiple consecutive years – exponentially punishes big spenders. It needs changed.
  • We’ve talked about this at greater length in terms of what the Cubs are doing this offseason – pretty clearly at this point – to get under the luxury tax.
  • Still love this every time I see it:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.