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The Ex-Cub Factor

One in an occasional series tracking the movement of former Cubs.

1. Jason Hammel.

We included Hammel in this feature in February when he signed a minor-league contract with the Rangers. Then, he actually made the Opening Day roster. Then, he actually retired!

"As per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Hammel simply 'decided he needed to go and be with his family, something you could tell was weighing on his mind this spring,'" MLBTradeRumors.com reported.

"Rangers GM Jon Daniels told The Athletic's Levi Weaver and other media that Hammel 'was very apologetic about the timing' of his decision, coming so soon after the team decided to include him on its 25-man roster."

2. Chris Singleton.

"One journey is over for Chris Singleton, whose mother was killed in the 2015 Charleston church shooting," the Columbia, South Carolina State reports.

"The South Carolina native was released by the Chicago Cubs organization . . . and he said it was his last day as a professional baseball player, in a video Singleton shared on Twitter."

3. Anthony Bass.

The former Cubs reliever opened the season in Louisville for the Reds' Triple-A team.

"Bass had been competing for a bullpen spot with the Reds after they signed him to a minors deal in December. He owns a 4.51 ERA/4.20 FIP with 6.07 K/9 and 3.31 BB/9 and a 47.9 percent groundball rate in a combined 299 1/3 innings with the Padres, Astros, Rangers and Cubs," MLBTradeRumors.com reported in March.

Specifically, Bass notched a 2.93 ERA (and 2.77 FIP) over 15 1/3 innings for the Cubs last year.

4./5./6. Jesus Castillo/Joe Smith/Tony Campana.

The Cubs acquired Castillo from the Diamondbacks in 2013 as part of the Tony Campana trade. In 2016, the Cubs sent Castillo to the Angels for Joe Smith.

At the time, Castillo was 20 and sported a 3.27 ERA (12 ER/33.0 IP) and 1.18 WHIP in seven starts for Class A Eugene.

Smith was seen as crucial bullpen help, but as I remember it, he was a disaster. Still, he somehow tallied a 2.51 ERA in his 14 games with the Cubs. Maybe it was his 5.94 FIP that I remember.

He's still in the game, by the way. with the Astros. Last year he compiled a 3.74 ERA (4.06 FIP) but is out this season until after the All-Star break with an achilles.

Castillo, meanwhile, eventually wound up in the Angels organization; he just cleared waivers and was sent to their AA-club in Mobile.

(Campana, also, is still going - he's in Hermosillo of the Mexican League.)

7. Rene Rivera.

He was out there, Cubs!

The Giants released the journeyman backup toward the end of camp and he was quickly scooped up by the Mets. He starts the season in Syracuse for their AAA club.

8. Justin Grimm.

When we last saw the Grimmer, he was making his way back to the reliever he once was with the Cubs, only with the Mariners (a 1.93 ERA in five appearances last year after a horrendous 2017 in Kansas City). That went sideways, though, as he failed to make the team in Cleveland and then wound up in the Dodgers' camp. Now he's in Oklahoma City for the Dodgers' Triple-A club.

9. Clayton Richard.

The Blue Jays have shut him down for two weeks with a right knee.

10. Daniel Murphy.

The Rockies have shut him down for four to six weeks with a finger.

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