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The Ex-Cub Factor

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

1. Jake Fox.

The Cubs drafted Jake Fox in the 3rd round of the 2003 draft. He was basically one in a series of 4-A sluggers without positions (Baseball Reference lists him as a pinch hitter, left fielder and catcher) the team thrived in during that era. Between 2007 and 2009 (those two years; he did not play for the big league club in 2008), he appeared in 89 games for the Cubs and the results weren't good. He hung around Oakland and Baltimore for a few years and then called it a career.

Fox was in the news recently because he's launching a fashion line called The Fox Code.

"The goal of the brand is to capture the mentality behind baseball, though . . . people who don't play baseball also could be inspired by the brand," the Sun-Times reports.

Um, okay.

2. Matt Szczur.

Beachwood favorite Matt Szczur was a 5th-round pick of the Cubs in the 2010 draft, and though his numbers are terrible, we remember him fondly here as a key utility outfielder. In May 2017, the Cubs broke our hearts and traded him to the Padres for Justin Hancock. In the winter of 2018, Matty signed as a free agent with the D-backs. He's spent this season at Triple-A Reno, slashing .308/.375/.562. He's still battling for bone marrow donations. (Hancock, by the way, appeared in 12 1/3 innings over 10 games for the Cubs in 2018, to an awfully lucky 1.46 ERA - his FIP was 4.62. He became a free agent after the season and is apparently still without a team; don't know if he's retired, injured or both.)

3. Brandon Hyde.

Brandon Hyde served as Cubs bench coach under Rickey Renteria. When the Cubs replaced Renteria with Joe Maddon, Maddon brought in his own bench coach in Davey Martinez. The Cubs kept Hyde in the organization, moving him to first-base coach. After Martinez went to Washington to manage the Nationals, Hyde became Maddon's bench coach. Last December, the Orioles hired Hyde to be their manager, where he remains while suffering a horrendous season, including a dugout "altercation" with Chris Davis.

4. Brett Anderson.

Theo Epstein brought in Brett Anderson to be the Cubs' fifth starter in 2017 to the bewilderment of most everybody. It did not go well - partially due to injuries - and he was released on July 31st of that year. It was reported this week that he was pretty unhappy with how things went here, but the details were not reported. Anderson finished 2017 with the Blue Jays, and has spent the last two seasons with the A's, pitching to a 3.99 ERA (but a 4.68 FIP) this year. Anderson faced the Cubs at Wrigley on Tuesday night and got the win, giving up seven hits and two earned runs in six innings in the A's 11-4 rout of Jon Lester & Co.

5. Zack Godley.

Zack Godley was a 10th-round pick of the Cubs in the 2013 draft, and spent his first two seasons as a professional in A ball. In the winter of 2014, he was traded with righthander Jeferson Mejia to the D-backs for Miguel Montero. Mejia has failed to reach the minors and is now pitching in low-A ball for the A's organization. Godley had a few decent seasons as a starter for Arizona but was waived after compiling a 5.28 FIP this year as a swingman. The Blue Jays picked him up on Wednesday.

6. Jason Vosler.

The Cubs drafted the corner infielder in the 16th round of the 2014 draft. The Cubs traded Vosler to the Padres last November for Rowan Wick, who has suddenly emerged as a bullpen beast. (Wick, it turns out, spent his first three seasons as a professional as a catcher/outfielder.) Vosler just hit for the cycle for Triple-A El Paso.

He also did a stint on the Crimson Tide as "Scotty."

7. Neil Ramirez.

Once-promising Neil Ramirez, who was with the Cubs from 2014 through part of 2016, is now a journeyman reliever reportedly nearing a deal with the Blue Jays.

8. Billy McKinney.

Outfielder Billy McKinney came to the Cubs from the A's in the July 2014 trade that sent Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija to Oakland and brought McKinney, Addison Russell and Dan Straily here. Two summers later, McKinney was packaged with Gleyber Torres, Adam Warren and Rashad Crawford for Aroldis Chapman. Two summers after that, the Yankees shipped McKinney to the Blue Jays with Brandon Drury for J.A. Happ. All told, he still has just 334 major league plate appearances, and a few days ago the Blue Jays sent him back down to the minors.

9. Pierce Johnson.

Pierce Johnson was a first-round pick of the Cubs in 2012 and pegged for the starting rotation by now. Instead, he pitched all of one inning (in relief) for the Cubs - in 2017 - before they waived him. He was picked up by the Giants and appeared in 37 games for San Francisco in 2018 (FIP: 4.51) before he was released last winter. He signed on with the Hanshin Tigers, and has now racked up a team-leading 31 holds out of the bullpen while notching a sparkling 0.84 ERA.

10. Fernando Rodney.

The much-traveled Rodney started his season in Oakland and is now shooting arrows for Washington, lodging two saves and a 2.87 ERA (3.15 FIP). By all accounts, the Nats are pretty happy with him right now.

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