With the 2010s coming to a close, NBC Sports Chicago is unveiling its Cubs All-Decade Team, highlighting the players who made the biggest impacts on the organization from 2010-19.
The Cubs-Orioles trade from 2013 is remembered for the North Siders acquiring 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner, Jake Arrieta. But the deal also sent Pedro Strop to the Cubs, who’s since become a key cog in the bullpen and one of the best relievers in team history.
Strop has made 411 career appearances in a Cubs uniform, No. 6 in franchise history. He sports a 2.90 ERA and 1.05 WHIP as a Cub — both better than what 2019 Hall of Fame inductee Lee Smith did with the team (2.92 ERA, 1.25 WHIP). Strop’s 120 holds with the Cubs are No. 1 in franchise history, with Carlos Marmol (83) a distant second.
Strop has posted a sub-3 ERA in six of his seven seasons with the Cubs, with 2019 (4.97) being the long exception. He suffered two separate hamstring strains in 2019, however — one in spring training and one in May — both negatively affecting his performance.
After opening the season as the Cubs closer, Strop pitched almost exclusively in low-leverage situations by season’s end. Nonetheless, he ended the year on a high note, posting a 2.00 ERA in 11 September outings, striking out 14 in nine innings.
What comes next for Strop is uncertain. He's a free agent and has expressed interest in returning to the Cubs. Strop is an energetic presence on the field and an integral member of the Cubs clubhouse. If the price is right, he'd be a low-risk addition and a decent bounce back candidate for next season.
But if his career continues elsewhere next season, Strop will leave Chicago as one of the best relievers to don a Cubs uniform. He's the clear-cut choice for the reliever spot on our Cubs All-Decade Team.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs easily on your device.