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The Ex-Cub Factor

One in an occasional series tracking the movements of ex-Cubs.

1. Jeff Samardzija.

Samardzija, entering his fourth year with the Giants, wants ties. In baseball.

"I don't think we need to play extra-inning games. End them in a tie, everyone gets one point like the Premier League. A win gets three points. Just end it at nine," he told Yahoo! Sports. "We're playing 162 games. Over that course of games, you should be able to tell who the best team is."

"[It] makes the ninth inning exciting all the time. And really, who wants to go out there and play 15 innings? The relievers don't want it. The position players don't want it. The managers don't want it. Then they've got to move the rosters around the next day."

2. Jorge Soler.

The oft-injured Soler, entering his third season with the Royals, will be in the lineup nearly everyday, be it in right field or as the DH, manager Ned Yost says.

"[H]e has made tremendous improvements in the last two years defensively," Yost said. "He's worked very hard to become an average right fielder, because he was a below average right fielder when he got here, and he just continues to work hard every day. It was a shame that he broke his foot last year because I would have really loved to see what he could have done in a full season, because he was really doing a good job when that happened."

Indeed, Soler, now 27, slashed .265/.354/.466 in the 61 games he managed to squeeze in around injury last year.

3. Chris Denorfia.

Denorfia played in 103 games for the Cubs in 2015. He is now the Cubs' quality assurance coach.

4. Chris Coghlan.

Coghlan played in 273 games for the Cubs in 2014 and 2015, then was traded to Oakland, and reacquired by the Cubs in 2016, where he appeared in 48 more games. He spent 2017 with shuttling between the Blue Jays and their Triple-A team, and 2018 back with the Cubs organization as an outfielder at the Triple-A club in Des Moines. He is now an unsigned free agent.

5. Aaron Brooks.

In February 2016, the Cubs traded Coghlan to the A's for pitcher Aaron Brooks. At the time, Brooks was 25 and had pitched parts of two seasons with the A's and the Royals. In fact, the A's acquired him from the Royals in a trade that included Ben Zobrist going to KC.

Brooks spent 2016 and part of 2017 in Des Moines, and then was waived. He was picked up by the Brewers and finished the 2017 season and almost all of the 2018 season pitching for their Triple-A club. He was then sold back to the A's for cash and appeared in three games for Oakland.

This spring, Brooks has been he's fighting for a spot in the A's rotation, but it appears he's been placed on the temporarily inactive list.

6. Chris Rusin.

The Cubs picked Rusin the fourth round of the 2009 draft. He made his major league debut in 2012. The Cubs waived him in 2014; he was picked up by the Rockies. He's still in Colorado, having settled into the bullpen there, but upper back pain is likely to keep him off the roster come Opening Day.

7. Tim Federowicz.

The journeyman catcher appeared in 17 games for the Cubs in 2016. He has no stick whatsoever. He's now in the Indians organization and was recently assigned to their minor league camp.

8. Dioner Navarro.

Navarro had a glorious 2013 with the Cubs, slashing .300/.365/.492 over 89 games and delighting the Beachwood Sports Desk.

He's never come close to repeating that performance as he's bounced around the league over a 15-year career.

He was in Cleveland's camp this spring but has been told he won't make the big league club.

9. Mike Freeman.

The utility infielder appeared in one game for the Cubs last year and 15 in 2017, and was otherwise stashed in Des Moines, where he appeared in 82 games last year.

He, too, was in Cleveland's camp this spring, and he, too, has been told he won't make the big league club.

10. Justin Grimm.

Also in Cleveland's camp this spring! Also told he won't make the club!

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Posted on Apr 16, 2019

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