This will be the second stint on the North Side for the 35-year-old Strop, who was a valuable part of Chicago’s bullpen from 2013-19. He accumulated 373 innings of 2.90 ERA/3.19 FIP pitching with 10.25 K/9, 3.55 BB/9 and a 53.2 percent groundball rate during that span, though Strop’s effectiveness waned last year during his final season of team control. He was unable to secure a multiyear contract in free agency as a result, instead signing a one-year, $1.825MM with NL Central rival Cincinnati.
The Strop-Reds union didn’t go well for either party, as he battled groin issues and only threw 2 1/3 innings with the club before it designated him for assignment Aug. 26. While Strop allowed just one earned run (three total) as a Red, he issued a whopping six walks and saw his average fastball, formerly in the 95-96 range, drop below 92. He’ll now try to work his way back to the majors with the Cubs, who lead their division by 3 1/2 games despite having received uninspiring production from their bullpen. The Cubs have, however, worked to upgrade their relief corps in recent days, as they landed Josh Osich and the currently injured Andrew Chafin at the trade deadline before reuniting with Strop.