Credit where it’s due — I “borrowed” this idea from Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports, who wrote of all the Nationals players whose careers ended after their time in D.C. There were 126 of them, all told, since the Nats moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005.
So I thought I’d look up all the Cubs players who didn’t play again in the big leagues after they were Cubs, limiting my search to the years 2010-19. (Obviously, you can’t yet include 2020, since it’s still possible for all those players to have more big-league time.) There are 80 players whose MLB careers ended as a member of the Chicago Cubs in that 10-year span.
It’s possible Hultzen could be back. Adduci has been hired by the Cubs as run production coordinator. Garcia is now in the Reds organization and could play again.
Jonathan Lucroy would have made this year’s list, but he played in one game for the Red Sox in 2020.
None of us will ever forget Taylor Davis’ grand slam against the Cardinals. Here, watch it again [VIDEO].
You probably won’t forget Zobrist’s last appearance on a big-league field, either — striking out Yadier Molina [VIDEO].
Jorge De La Rosa
Management spent a lot of 2018 trying out veteran relievers; few of them had any success in Chicago.
Morrow might still have more MLB time, as he’s been signed to a minor-league deal by the Dodgers.
I covered Frankoff and Leathersich’s Cubs careers in “One-game Cubs of the 2010s,” posted here in December 2019.
All those men got World Series rings. Just one of them (Ross) actually played in the World Series.
This is a surprisingly large list for a team that won 97 games. But until late July, that Cubs team was muddling around .500, with a lot of guys in and out of the roster. Medina, in particular, was a really bad acquisition, brought over in a trade with the Mariners for Welington Castillo. Castillo was superfluous as a third catcher, but he was an effective big-league player through 2019.
Baker is now director of coaching and player development with the Pirates, and Valaika is the Cubs’ assistant hitting coach. Jokisch is still pitching in Korea; 2021 will be his third season in KBO.
Forgettable players from a forgettable season, except McDonald, who later became a Cubs special assistant and minor-league coach. Burnett and Neal’s one-game Cubs careers are covered in the article linked above.
Rafael Dolis would have made the 2013 list, but after four years pitching in Japan, he returned to MLB with the Blue Jays in 2020 and was pretty effective (1.50 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, 1.2 bWAR in 24 relief appearances). And Brooks Raley also would have been listed here, but after five successful years pitching in Korea, he returned to MLB and pitched for both the Reds and Astros in 2020.
Wood, obviously, is the best-known name on this list, famously retiring after striking out Dayan Viciedo, May 18, 2012 [VIDEO]... and giving his young son a hug after.
But LaHair also had a memorable last game, hitting this walkoff single on the last day of the 2012 season [VIDEO].
Gaub and Stevens both came to the Cubs when they sent Mark DeRosa to Cleveland after 2008. Neither did much in the big leagues.
Hoffpauir was a poor man’s Bryan LaHair.
Diamond had been a first-round draft pick of the Rangers (2004). The Cubs acquired him on waivers from the Twins in 2009, but he pitched poorly (6.83 ERA in 19 games) and was released at the end of the 2010 season.
Some memorable, others not, but all these MLB careers ended after a turn in blue pinstripes.