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The Cubs of the 2010s whose careers ended in Chicago

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Some of these are big names... others, not so much.

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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.

2019 (11)

Jim Adduci
Tony Barnette
Xavier Cedeno
Taylor Davis
Daniel Descalso
Robel Garcia
Danny Hultzen
Addison Russell
Allen Webster
Mark Zagunis
Ben Zobrist

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].

2018 (9)

Jorge De La Rosa
Brian Duensing
Jaime Garcia
Justin Hancock
Cory Mazzoni
Brandon Morrow
Efren Navarro
Jen-Ho Tseng
Rob Zastryzny

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.

2017 (4)

Seth Frankoff
John Lackey
Jack Leathersich
Koji Uehara

I covered Frankoff and Leathersich’s Cubs careers in “One-game Cubs of the 2010s,” posted here in December 2019.

2016 (7)

Gerardo Concepcion
Ryan Kalish
Munenori Kawasaki
Brian Matusz
Spencer Patton
Joel Peralta
David Ross

All those men got World Series rings. Just one of them (Ross) actually played in the World Series.

2015 (9)

Mike Baxter
Dallas Beeler
Chris Denorfia
Dan Haren
Jonathan Herrera
Yoervis Medina
Rafael Soriano
Taylor Teagarden
Tsuyoshi Wada

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.

2014 (6)

John Baker
Eric Jokisch
Ryan Sweeney
Chris Valaika
Logan Watkins
Eli Whiteside

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.

2013 (11)

J.C. Boscan
Alex Burnett
Michael Bowden
Alberto Cabrera
Chang-Yong Lim
Darnell McDonald
Thomas Neal
Cody Ransom
Eduardo Sanchez
Dave Sappelt
Hisanori Takahachi

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.

2012 (12)

Jason Berken
Alberto Cabrera
Adrian Cardenas
Lendy Castillo
Jaye Chapman
Alex Hinshaw
Bryan LaHair
Rodrigo Lopez
Joe Mather
Josh Vitters
Randy Wells
Kerry Wood

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].

2011 (6)

Justin Berg
Doug Davis
John Gaub
John Grabow
Luis Montanez
Jeff Stevens

Gaub and Stevens both came to the Cubs when they sent Mark DeRosa to Cleveland after 2008. Neither did much in the big leagues.

2010 (5)

Esmailin Caridad
Thomas Diamond
Micah Hoffpauir
Bobby Scales
Carlos Silva

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.