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The Ex-Cub Factor

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

1. Carl Edwards Jr.

After four largely productive seasons on the North Side for the String Bean Slinger, the Cubs lost patience with Edwards last summer after an awful 20 appearances with an 8.47 ERA (5.87 FIP) and an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, sending him to San Diego for Brad Wieck.

Edwards only appeared in two games for the Padres, giving up six runs in 1 2/3 innings. He became a free agent on Nov. 4.

Just before Thanksgiving, the Mariners took a flyer on Edwards, signing him to a one-year deal with a base salary of $950,000 and another $500,000 in performance incentives. FanGraphs calls him a "fixer-upper."

Edwards is just one name on a long list of prospective Cubs closers who never reached the back of the bullpen. But he has come a long way - he was a 48th round (!) pick of the Rangers in the 2011 draft. Two years later, he was traded to the Cubs along with Neil Ramirez, Justin Grimm and Mike Olt in exchange for Matt Garza. He is missed.

2. Kendall Graveman.

Graveman is kind of this year's Drew Smyly.

The Cubs took a flyer on the former A, who was coming off Tommy John surgery. He never made it past two minor league rehab starts in September. It would have cost the Cubs $3 million to retain him; they declined and the Mariners, fresh off their Carl Edwards signing, swooped in with a one-year, $1.5 million deal. He is not missed.

3. Pierce Johnson.

Also from FanGraphs: "[T]he Hansin Tigers are reportedly set to release Pierce Johnson. The 28-year-old right-hander, formerly with the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants, logged a 1.84 ERA over 58 relief appearances in his lone NPB season."

Not sure why that wasn't good enough for Hansin, but Johnson was a real disappointment for the Cubs, who made him their first round pick in 2012. He pitched all of one inning for the big league club (giving up two hits and two unearned runs while striking out two). He is not missed.

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Comments welcome.

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Posted on Dec 6, 2019