Former Cubs shine in MLB playoffs

The Cubs wholesale of stars pays dividends for several playoff teams.


AP Photo | David J. Phillip

Boston Red Sox’s Kyle Schwarber tosses his bat after a grand slam home run against the Houston Astros during the second inning in Game 3 of baseball’s American League Championship Series Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Boston.

Noah Silver, Sports Reporter

Another MLB postseason is underway, and while the Chicago Cubs may not be playing in October, some familiar faces are suiting up for playoff teams looking to win the World Series.

The Cubs sent shockwaves around the MLB on July 30, when they traded core superstars like first baseman Anthony Rizzo, third baseman Kris Bryant, shortstop Javier Baez and more.

While Chicago looks to “re-tool” their lineups for the future, many of these former Cubs are aiding their new teams in their quest for the Commissioner’s trophy.

The New York Yankees were looking for more power lefties to diversify a very boring right-hand dominant lineup. Rizzo was a perfect fit for them to finish the season.

The Bronx Bombers faced the Boston Red Sox in the American League Wild Card, which they would end up losing 6-2. Rizzo, however, was one of the bright spots in the game as he sent a solo shot into the stands at Fenway Park.

Left fielder Kyle Schwarber, who was traded from the Cubs to the Washington Nationals in 2020 and then to the Red Sox, also blasted a solo home run to put the Red Sox up 3-0 in the third inning.

Bryant was traded to the San Francisco Giants, a team that surprised everybody this season with 106 wins and a National League West division title.

The Giants are pitted against the Los Angeles Dodgers, another 106-win team looking for back-to-back world championships.

Bryant helped the Giants to a 1-0 series lead with a solo shot in the seventh inning as they beat the Dodgers 4-0 in game one.

The Dodgers and Giants face off in game five of the NLDS on Thursday.

Elsewhere, on the South Side of Chicago, pitchers Craig Kimbrel and Ryan Tepera were sent on a short commute to a White Sox team that looked to bolster their bullpen for a deep playoff run.

Kimbrel came out flat in the ALDS against the Houston Astros, allowing two earned runs on three hits in two innings pitched.

Prior to the trade deadline, the Atlanta Braves traded for center fielder Joc Pederson, an energizing power hitter who can help change momentum in a heartbeat.

During the NLDS between the Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers, Pederson hit two home runs. Pederson hit one of those dingers while using Rizzo’s bat, which he stole during his time with the Cubs.

“Rizzo just texted me. I stole it from him when we were in Chicago,” Pederson said in an Oct. 11 NBC Sports Chicago article. “He got a lot of hits in it. Thanks, Big Horn.”

Not all Cubs players that were traded made it to the postseason, though.

Baez was sent to the New York Mets at the trade deadline to help take them to the promised land for the first time since 1986. Baez finished the season with a .265 batting average, 31 home runs and 87 RBIs.

As the postseason winds down, Cubs fans will hope the front office brings back the hometown heroes of 2016. For now, they will have to root for our favorite players in different colors.