This was a foregone conclusion, I think, but the Cubs made it official by press release late Thursday, exercising the 2019 contract option to keep Pedro Strop in the bullpen for another season. Pedro will make $6.25 million in 2019, which in the current marketplace would seem to be a real bargain.
Last August, I wrote this article stating that Strop is already one of the best relievers in Cubs history. He stepped up and closed games after Brandon Morrow went down with an injury and has been solidly consistent ever since he was acquired from the Orioles for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger July 2, 2013.
Oh, yes. Some other guy named Jake Arrieta came over in that deal. My point in listing the trade that way is that even if it had been just Strop for those two players, it would have been a huge win for the Cubs. The five years Jake had in a Cubs uniform make it one of the better deals in franchise history.
Fun fact about Pedro: Since he was acquired, he leads all National League relievers in opponent batting average and slugging percentage while ranking second in opponent OPS. That makes him not only a great Cubs reliever, but one of the best in the entire league.
This contract move leaves only the question of whether the Cubs will exercise the option on Cole Hamels’ contract remaining regarding options. We should find out about this one by Friday.