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Cubs avoid arbitration with Pedro Strop

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The Cubs avoided arbitration with right-handed reliever Pedro Strop on Saturday, per MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat. He’ll get $5.5 million for the 2017 season, a raise of approximately $1.1 million over his salary in 2016. Strop filed at $6 million at the January deadline and was met with a $4.6 million counteroffer from the club.

The 31-year-old righty completed his fourth run with the Cubs in 2016, turning in an outstanding 2.85 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 over 47 1/3 innings. He missed significant time on the disabled list due to a torn meniscus and groin strain, putting up just 0.8 fWAR and finishing the season with fewer than 57 innings for the first time since 2011. He regained full strength prior to the Cubs’ postseason stretch, logging a 3.18 ERA and two holds in 11 1/3 innings as the team worked their way up to another championship title.

The right-hander is scheduled to enter free agency in the fall of 2017. The Cubs have now settled with all four arbitration-eligible players, including right-handers Jake Arrieta, Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon.

2017 Preview: The National League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?

Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.

Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

2017 Preview: The American League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West

There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.

Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?

Our 2017 AL West Previews:

Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics