Strop, Cubs excited to finalize extension

Reliever signed through '18, with club option for '19

Strop, Cubs excited to finalize extension

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs awarded reliever Pedro Strop with a contract extension Friday through 2018 with a club option for '19.

Earlier this month, the sides agreed to a $5.5 million contract for 2017. The extension will pay Strop $5.85 million in '18 and there is a club option for $6.25 million for '19.

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The sides had talked about a one-year number during the arbitration process.

"During that process, it was clear there was some interest on both sides in extending this relationship," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said.

Strop, 31, tore the left meniscus in his knee in early August and returned Sept. 23. He compiled a 2.85 ERA over 47 1/3 innings in 54 games. The right-hander would have been a free agent after this season.

"Pedro has been fantastic for us," Hoyer said. "He's had three excellent seasons for us, he's a great teammate, everyone likes being around him. It's exciting that he wants to be a Cub after this year. He wanted to stay here, he loves it here and we feel the same."

The Cubs acquired Strop and Jake Arrieta in July 2013 from the Orioles in exchange for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger. It's worked out well for both pitchers.

"The big thing with 'Stroppy' for me is to continue to work on improved fastball command," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "There's still another level of him being better than he is. It's such a perfect fit for us. He's a perfect fit for any team. We're fortunate to have him.

"Everytime you see the guy, he's in a good mood. He's just a good baseball player."

Strop didn't want to pitch anywhere else.

"They understand I love this team and I feel a part of this and I love the fans and I love the city of Chicago," Strop said. "I'm real glad they made it happen."

Strop is one of the Cubs' key setup pitchers, but wouldn't mind closing someday. Actually, he'll do whatever they ask.

"We'll do whatever it takes to take this team to another championship season and win," Strop said. "I don't care about roles; I like to win better than roles."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.