Pedro Strop has agreed to a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds and left a heartfelt message for the Chicago Cubs on his way out.
When Opening Day comes around, the Chicago Cubs bullpen will look unrecognizable. Pedro Strop was the latest to depart via free agency, signing with the Cincinnati Reds on a one-year deal worth $1.8 million. The fact that the Cubs couldn’t give Strop that little amount of money is how this offseason has gone in a nutshell. Strop joins Steve Cishek and Brandon Kintzler as members of the bullpen who have departed that saw a significant number of innings during his time in Chicago.
The Cubs acquired Strop back in July 2013 – a deal that also included Jake Arrieta – in exchange for Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman. At the time, the team had been signing reclamation projects in starting pitchers and flipping them for prospects at the trade deadline for long-term assets. It was a brilliant move, one that ultimately helped Theo Epstein stock a roster good enough to win the 2016 World Series.
Strop spent the better part of six and half years on the north side, posting a 2.90 ERA in 411 appearances. He primarily served as the team’s setup man but collected 29 saves as well. Between 2013 and 2018, Strop posted sub-3.00 ERA seasons. Strop had a rough go of it last year, posting a near 5.00 ERA, but he also battled hamstring injuries that landed him on the injured list.
I’ll never forget the time in the latter part of the 2015 season; Strop struck out Tyler Saladino to close out the bottom half of the 8th inning, clinging to a 6-5 lead. After he struck out the White Sox infielder, Strop emphatically fist-pumped that ruffled the feathers of White Sox analyst and announcer Bill Melton and Hawk Harrelson, respectively.
Strop got a bad rap during his time on the north side, likely due to the way he wore his hat. His numbers indicated that he was outstanding, but when he had a clunker, the train completely fell off the tracks.
He took to Instagram to thank the Cubs and the city of Chicago, posting “These last 6 1/2 years with the Chicago Cubs have been a memorable and exciting time in my career. I want to thank ownership, Theo, Jed, my former teammates, and especially all of the fans in the wonderful city of Chicago for your support throughout these years. These years will forever mean a lot to me. THANK YOU CHICAGO!”
Fear not though, Cubs fans, we will still be seeing him and Nicholas Castellanos 19 times a year. I wish both of them the best of luck.