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11/20/2009 1:06 PM ET
Cubs, Left-Handed Pitcher John Grabow Agree to Terms on Two-Year Contract
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The Chicago Cubs and left-handed pitcher John Grabow today agreed to terms on a two-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Grabow, 31, combined to go 3-0 with a 3.36 ERA (27 ER/72.1 IP) last season in a career-high 75 relief appearances with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cubs. His season included a 3.24 ERA (9 ER/25.0 IP) in 30 games for Chicago after he was acquired with left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny for pitchers Jose Ascanio and Kevin Hart, and minor league infielder Josh Harrison July 30.

All told, Grabow's 72.1 innings of work in 2009 tied for third-most among left-handed relievers and his career-high 23 holds ranked ninth among National League pitchers. He allowed five home runs, the fewest in any of his six full major league seasons, and limited left-handed hitters to a .222 batting average (18-for-81) and one home run. Grabow began his Cubs career with 16-consecutive scoreless appearances, spanning 13.0 innings, July 31-September 1, while stranding his first 11 inherited runners.

Originally selected by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 1997 Draft, Grabow is 20-15 with six saves, a 4.03 ERA (174 ER/388.1 IP) and 342 strikeouts compared to 179 walks in 420 major league relief appearances with the Pirates (2003-2009) and Cubs (2009). He has stranded 176 of 236 inherited runners, as his 74.6-percent success rate ranks fifth-best among active left-handed pitchers (minimum 200 inherited runners).

Grabow has pitched in 63 or more games in each of the last six seasons, including 72 or more three times (72 in 2006, 74 in 2008 and 75 in 2009). His 149 relief outings since the start of the 2008 season are third most among left-handed pitchers behind only Pedro Feliciano (174) and Dennys Reyes (150).

The southpaw has recorded an ERA of 3.36 or better in each of his last two seasons, including a career-best 2.84 ERA in 2008 with the Pirates. That season, he set a career mark with 76.0 innings pitched in 74 games. He has twice led the National League in percentage of inherited runners stranded, most recently done in 2006 when he allowed just seven of 40 to score (82.5 percent). He first accomplished the feat in 2005, stranding 35 of 39 inherited runners (89.7 percent).

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