It could have been the feel-good story of the season. Pedro Strop, who is one of the best relievers in Cubs history, left after the 2019 season via free agency. He signed with the Reds, but threw only four games for them before being shut down with injuries.
The Cubs signed him in September 2020 and assigned him to the alternate site in South Bend. He didn’t pitch for the Cubs last year, but signed a minor-league deal to return in 2021. He pitched in two games for the Cubs this year, looking pretty good, but it seemed clear recently that the team didn’t have plans for him going forward. There were several opportunities for him to return to the Cubs over the last week or so and they chose others.
The Cubs have announced that Pedro Strop has elected free agency. There were no hard feelings from either side, and the Cubs remain open to bringing Strop back in some capacity in the future.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 5, 2021
Translation: He thinks he can still pitch, the Cubs don’t have him in their plans, and so they are giving him the opportunity to hook on elsewhere. I wish him well, and as Jordan Bastian’s tweet hints, perhaps he’ll be back as a minor league coach or manager someday. He’s always been a popular player in the clubhouse and a good mentor for younger pitchers.
I wrote this article about Pedro’s Cubs career in August 2018. Though he had a bad 2019 due to injuries, I’ll stand by the statement that he’s one of the best relievers in Cubs history. I do hope he’s back in the organization someday.
All the best, Pedro, and #HatsLeft forever.