Pedro Strop joins Cubs camp with deal finalized: 'It makes me smile'

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Tim Stebbins
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With deal official, Strop joins Cubs: 'It makes me smile' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Nearly eight years ago, Pedro Strop and Jake Arrieta came to the Cubs together from Baltimore in a trade deadline deal that paid major dividends in Chicago's quest for a championship.

Saturday, they were reunited at Cubs spring training after Strop's minor league deal with the club became official. The reliever stood nearby as Arrieta threw a bullpen session.

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"We're glad to have him here," manager David Ross said. "We're hoping he can get out there and perform real soon."

Strop, a spring training non-roster invitee, rejoins the Cubs after departing for the Reds in free agency last offseason. After Cincinnati released him late last August, the Cubs signed him to a minor league deal, though he spent the rest of 2020 at the club's South Bend alternate site.

For the Cubs, seeing the 35-year-old back in the clubhouse is a welcomed sight.

"It makes me smile, makes me happy to see him," Ross said. "I think it makes a lot of guys happy. I think it's one of those things a lot of us around here have anticipated, once we knew he was going to be joining us, and have been excited about."

"Today was that pay off of finally we get to see Stropy."

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Strop dealt with a groin injury in 2020 that limited him to just four appearances (2 1/3 innings). One of the best relievers in Cubs history, he holds a career 2.90 ERA in 411 appearances on the North Side.

Strop joins the club as a potential relief option for the Opening Day bullpen.

"He'll fall right in line, get in the mix and be able to get out there and compete real soon," Ross said.

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