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Cubs Fan Guide to 2021 MLB Postseason

Eight teams feature at least one former Chicago player, including seven players from the 2016 World Series championship team.

Kris Bryant Giants
Photo: Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs will not play in the MLB postseason for the second time in three years.

But, there will be plenty of former Cubs players competing for the Commissioner’s Trophy this fall. Eight of the 10 playoff teams have at least one former Cubs player except the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays.

Complete 2021 MLB postseason schedule

National League

Giants: Kris Bryant, Tommy La Stella

Bryant, who the Cubs traded near the trade deadline for prospects Alexander Canario and Caleb Kilian, is in the postseason once again. Bryant has been one of the most versatile defenders this year, playing third base and all three outfield positions. Offensively, he hit .262/.344/.444 in 51 games with the Giants after the trade.

La Stella, who signed a three-year contract with the Giants in February, hit .250/.308/.405 in 76 games this year. The infielder played for the Cubs from 2014 to 2018.

Bryant and La Stella were members of the Cubs’ 2016 World Series championship team.

Brewers: Colin Rea

Rea signed a minor-league contract with the Brewers in August to be postseason-eligible. He’s only pitched six innings in relief this season after playing for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan. He posted a 5.79 ERA with 10 strikeouts in nine relief appearances for the Cubs during the 2020 season.

Vogelbach, a former Cubs prospect, and Brett Anderson (2017) are also on the Brewers’ 40-man roster.

Braves: Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, Jesse Chavez

Pederson signed with the Cubs in February to be a full-time outfielder, but has moved into a reserve role after his trade to Atlanta. He hit .249/.325/.428 in 64 games following the move. He’ll be looking to win his second consecutive World Series title after winning last year with the Dodgers.

Soler, another member of the Cubs’ 2016 team, was a mid-season add by Atlanta from the Kansas City Royals. He hit .269/.358/.524 in 55 games with the Braves.

Chavez, who was 2-1 in 32 relief appearances for the Cubs in 2018, is also with Atlanta.

Cardinals: Jon Lester

The Cubs declined to extend Lester his 2021 option then he signed with the Washington Nationals in January. After an up-and-down time in the nation’s capital, Lester was traded to St. Louis at the deadline. He has a 4.36 ERA in 12 starts for the Cardinals.

American League

Astros: Martin Maldondo, Brooks Raley

Remember Martin Maldondo? The catcher spent four games with the Cubs in 2019 before he was sent to Houston for Tony Kemp.

Raley pitched in 14 games for the Cubs from 2012-13 after making his way up through the farm system as a 2009 sixth-round pick from Texas A&M.

At age 72, former Cubs manager Dusty Baker (2003-06) is in search of his first World Series win as manager. He won the title in 1981 as a player with the Dodgers.

White Sox: Craig Kimbrel, Ryan Tepera, Billy Hamilton

The Cubs made two separate crosstown trades to send Kimbrel and Tepera to the White Sox in July to acquire Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer, along with pitching prospect Bailey Horn. Kimbrel and Tepera, who had a late-season finger injury, are setup relievers for closer Liam Hendriks. Kimbrel will seek his second World Series title after winning in 2018 with Boston.

Hamilton, who played for the Cubs in 2020, signed a minor-league contract with the White Sox in March. He’ll be a key reserve player for the South Siders.

Former Cubs prospects Dylan Cease and Eloy Jimenez, both of whom were involved in the Jose Quintana trade, are also with the White Sox.

Red Sox: Kyle Schwarber

The Cubs non-tendered Schwarber, a member of the 2016 title team, this past December before he signed with the Nationals. He got off to a hot start, hitting home runs with ease to make the NL All-Star team. The Nationals then traded him to Boston, where he has hit .291/.435/.522 in 41 games.

Yankees: Aroldis Chapman, DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo

Chapman and Rizzo reunited this summer in New York when the Cubs traded the latter at the deadline. Both players were on the Cubs’ 2016 team.

Former Cubs prospect and second baseman Gleyber Torres, who the Cubs traded to acquire Chapman in 2016, is also with the Yankees. LeMahieu played 37 games for the Cubs in 2011 before he was traded with Tyler Colvin to the Rockies for Casey Weathers and Ian Stewart. LeMahieu’s career took off in Colorado, where he became a more well rounded player as a three-time Gold Glove winner and two-time Silver Slugger winner. He joined the Yankees in 2019 and signed a six-year extension this past January.

Brandon is a contributor for On Tap Sports Net covering the Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Steel. He also covers the Blackhawks as an independent correspondent for NHL.com. Follow Brandon on Twitter @brandonmcain.

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