Reports: Cubs agree to deals with Workman, Strop

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — The Cubs bolstered their pitching depth Wednesday, agreeing to contracts with veteran relievers Brandon Workman and Pedro Strop.

Workman received a $1 million, one-year deal, according to a person familiar with the contract who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the move had not been announced. The 32-year-old right-hander can earn an additional $2 million in bonuses.

The 35-year-old Strop returned to the Cubs on a minor league deal that includes an invite to big league spring training, according to a second person familiar with the contract who spoke on condition of anonymity because the move had not been announced. The deal includes a March 30 opt-out date.

The Cubs had been looking for pitching depth in the runup to spring training, concerned about covering a full campaign after last season was shortened because of the pandemic. They announced contracts with right-hander Trevor Williams and lefty reliever Andrew Chafin on Feb. 8, and right-hander Jake Arrieta also has a deal in place to return to his former team.

Workman struggled last year, going 1-4 with a 5.95 ERA and nine saves in 21 appearances for Boston and Philadelphia. He was traded from the Red Sox to the Phillies in August.

But Workman was terrific in 2019 with Boston, going 10-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 73 appearances. He is 25-20 with a 3.89 ERA in 209 career games.

Wearing his hat off to the left, Strop became a fan favorite in Chicago after he was acquired along with Arrieta in a 2013 trade with Baltimore for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger.

Strop had 2.90 ERA in 411 appearances with the Cubs over seven years, mostly in a setup role. He was a key member of the 2016 team that won the franchise’s first World Series title since 1908.

Strop signed a $1,825,000, one-year deal with Cincinnati after the 2019 season. He was let go by the Reds last August and then signed a minor league contract with the Cubs. But he didn’t appear in a big league game for the rest of the year.