The Cubs announced today that they have agreed to a one-year contract extension for 2018 with reliever Pedro Strop. The deal also includes a team option for 2019. According to Cubs.com beat writer Carrie Muskat, Stop will make $5.5 million this season and $5.85 million next. The Cubs option for 2019, should they exercise it, would pay Strop $6.25 million.
Absent this extension, Strop would have been eligible for free agency after this season. This deal gives the Cubs two more seasons of control of the reliever.
The Cubs said the following about Strop in their official press release announcing the deal:
Strop, 31, has totaled 84 holds, a 0.98 WHIP and a 2.68 ERA (63 ER/211.1 IP) in 232 relief appearances with the Cubs covering the last four seasons since being acquired with righthander Jake Arrieta from Baltimore on July 2, 2013. Since joining the Cubs, Strop leads all National League relief pitchers with a .173 batting average against, ranks second in holds, ranks third-lowest with a .530 opponent OPS, is tied for third in WHIP and ranks fourth with an average of 10.82 strikeouts per nine innings (all minimum 200 appearances).
Last season, Strop went 2-2 with 21 holds, a 0.89 WHIP and a 2.85 ERA (15 ER/47.1 IP) despite being limited to 54 relief outings due to late-season knee and groin injuries. He combined to post no record and a 3.18 ERA (2 ER/5.2 IP) in eight postseason appearances.
Strop broke into the big leagues with the Texas Rangers in 2009 and was acquired by Baltimore near the end of the 2011 campaign. In 2012, he served as one of Baltimore’s primary set-up men, going 5-2 with three saves, 24 holds and a 2.44 ERA (18 ER/66.1 IP) in 70 relief appearances. However, Strop began the 2013 campaign by posting a 7.25 ERA (18 ER/22.1 IP) in 29 outings and was traded to the Cubs with Arrieta and two international signing bonus slots for righthander Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger just before the All-Star Break. Strop posted a 2.83 ERA (11 ER/35.0 IP) in 37 outings with the Cubs throughout the remainder of the 2013 campaign.
Overall, Strop is 15-20 with nine saves, 116 holds and a 3.23 ERA (122 ER/339.2 IP) in 376 relief appearances covering all or part of eight major league seasons with Texas (2009-11), Baltimore (2011-13) and the Cubs (2013-16).
Strop was captured by ESPN's Jesse Rogers talking about the trade that brought him to Chicago and what the Cubs and their fans mean to him.
It now appears that Strop and the city of Chicago will have plenty of time to continue to enjoy each other's company.