Ex-Cubs will play a big role in MLB playoffs

Ex-Cubs will play a big role in MLB playoffs
October 1, 2013, 10:45 am
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Tony Andracki

One ex-Cub may be the talk of the town right now, but when playoff baseball starts Tuesday night, Joe Girardi will have no impact on what happens in October.

David DeJesus and Marlon Byrd lead the list of ex-Cubs in the playoffs, beginning roughly 32 hours after Theo Epstein and his front office parted ways with manager Dale Sveum.

When DeJesus first inked a two-year deal (with a team option for a third year) with the Cubs before the 2012 season, it was obvious the Cubs were not planning on making the postseason any time soon.

But after a trade to the Nationals -- and then another deal to the Tampa Bay Rays a few days later -- the 33-year-old outfielder will be able to claim at least one playoff game on his resume as the Rays take on the Indians in the Wild Card game Tuesday night.

DeJesus has played pretty much every day with the Rays since joining the team in late August and came up with a big RBI double in Game 163 Monday night.

[MORE: Girardi or bust? Pressure on Theo to deliver next Cubs manager

Sam Fuld, a fan favorite during his time in Chicago and a small piece to the Matt Garza deal in January 2011, singled and stole a base in that same Game 163 and if the Rays get past the Indians Tuesday night, Chris Archer figures to get at least one start against the Red Sox. Archer, the Cubs' former top pitching prospect and the main piece in the Garza trade, had a very good year, boasting a 9-7 record with a 3.22 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 23 starts.

Cleveland Indians

Here's a name Cubs fans haven't heard in a while -- Rich Hill. The Cubs' 2002 fourth-round pick, Hill has bounced around since leaving Chicago after the 2008 season and spent the year as a left-handed option out of the Indians bullpen, albeit with a 6.28 ERA.

Oakland A's

Josh Donaldson isn't a household name for most Cubs fans, but it should be. The Oakland third baseman was a supplemental pick of the Cubs in the 2007 Draft (48th overall) and was dealt to the A's in the Rich Harden deal in 2008.

All Donaldson has done this season is put up an MVP-caliber year, netting the fourth-highest WAR among MLB position players, coming in behind only Mike Trout (9.2 WAR), Carlos Gomez (8.4) and Andrew McCutchen (8.2) with an 8.0 WAR. For reference, Welington Castillo led Cubs position players with a 4.4 WAR.

[RELATED: Cubs end Sveum Watch, terminate skipper after two years]

Donaldson, 27, clubbed 24 homers and 37 doubles, drove in 93 runs, scored 89 and put up a .301/.384/.499 line while playing very good defense at third base. Imagine his presence in the Cubs lineup every day.

Boston Red Sox

At age 36, Ryan Dempster struggled for much of 2013 with the Red Sox with a 4.57 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. In the postseason, he will come out of the bullpen, but likely not in any high-leverage situations.

Detroit Tigers

Al Alburquerque was another low-profile Cub dealt away before reaching the majors. The 27-year-old reliever was sent to the Rockies for Jeff Baker in July 2009 and has been a vital part of the Tigers bullpen when healthy the last three seasons.

Detroit also boasts one near-Cub, as starter Anibal Sanchez almost inked a deal with Chicago before the season. Instead, he chose to re-sign with the Tigers for more money and put himself in the Cy Young conversation alongside teammate Max Scherzer.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates are back in the postseason for the first time in more than two decades and a trio of ex-Cubs have played a minor role in the playoff berth.

Byrd, who earned an All-Star appearance with the Cubs in 2010 amidst a tumultous Chicago career, hit .318 with an .843 OPS in 30 games for the Pirates. Felix Pie, heralded as the Cubs' next big thing from 2003-07, never amounted to anything in the big leagues, but appeared in 27 games for the 2013 Bucs in a pinch-running/defensive replacement capacity.

Kyle Farnsworth started the year with the Rays, but was released in August and signed with the Pirates. The former Cubs bad boy allowed just one run in 8.2 innings down the stretch.

Cincinnati Reds

The Sean Marshall trade has worked out well for the Cubs, as they picked up rotation cornerstone and 2013 All Star Travis Wood in exchange for the veteran reliever.

Marshall spent most of the season on the shelf with a shoulder injury but appears to be healthy now and should help solidfy the back end of a very good Reds bullpen...that is if Cincinnati can get past Pittsburgh in the Wild Card game first.

Atlanta Braves

Arodys Vizcaino has yet to pitch in a Cubs uniform in a year-and-a-half in the organization, but last year's deadline deal has worked out for the Braves. Paul Maholm has been a solid fifth starter for Atlanta while Reed Johnson reprised his role as a fourth/fifth outfielder and clubhouse glue guy.

[WATCH: Kap and Bruce debate Girardi possibility]

Los Angeles Dodgers

Carlos Marmol is still walking guys at an alarming rate (19 in 21.1 innings in L.A.) but has been back to his usual self, with 27 strikeouts and a 2.53 ERA out of the bullpen for the Dodgers.

Ricky Nolasco, the Cubs' fourth-round pick in 2001, went 8-3 down the stretch for the Dodgers after coming over in a trade from the Marlins while Jerry Hairston, Jr., a Naperville product and former Cub played the role of super-sub and appeared in 96 games at five different positions.

The St. Louis Cardinals is the only team in the MLB postseason without an ex-Cub on their roster.