Chicago Cubs Surprisingly Release Pitcher From 2016 World Series Team

Despite having major pitching issues, the Chicago Cubs decided to move on from a pitcher who was part of their 2016 World Series team.
Chicago Cubs hat and glove in the dugout
Chicago Cubs hat and glove in the dugout / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Cubs have a significant bullpen issue on their hands.

Just like late last season, their relievers have not been able to close out games and it is going to cost them a spot in the playoffs if it's not figured out.

Jed Hoyer and his front office knew the struggles this group had, yet his lone free agent signing was Hector Neris, who is having major problems right now, and trading for Yency Almonte, who has been out for over a month with a shoulder injury.

If the Cubs had even a competent bullpen, they'd be in the mix to win the NL Central.

Instead, they sit last in the division at five games under .500 and two back of the final Wild Card spot despite having the third-worst record in the National League.

Frustrating would be an understatement.

That's why it's head scratching Chicago decided to release 2016 World Series champion Carl Edwards Jr. from his minor league Triple-A contract as per Cubs Zone.

Prior to his second stint with the Cubs, the veteran put together two solid seasons with the Washington Nationals from 2022-23 when he posted a 3.07 ERA across 89 games. Unfortunately for him, his time with that franchise ended following being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right scapula that forced him to hit the 60-day IL.

As a free agent, Chicago signed him to a minor league deal this past January. He opted out when he wasn't going to make the Opening Day roster, but decided to re-sign with the franchise he won a championship with.

Edwards was good for their Triple-A affiliate prior to his release, posting a 1.85 ERA across 20 appearances while striking out 22 batters in 24.1 innings pitched.

Why he didn't get a shot to pitch in the Majors is truly mindblowing.

It's not like the Cubs have plenty of good relievers they can trust. Their relief staff has been credited with the second-most losses in the league (20) and have blown 16 saves.

Edwards easily could have gotten a look.

More information could come out that says the veteran opted out of his deal to pursue a Major League opportunity with another franchise instead of Chicago just outright releasing him, but that still wouldn't make this development better.

Within their own minor league system, they had a past MLB-caliber arm who won a World Series with this franchise performing well while those on the big league roster struggled.

Maybe something else was going on as the last time he appeared in a game before getting released was on June 12, but this feels like a mistake, especially with the issues that are taking place for this team right now.


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Brad Wakai

BRAD WAKAI

Brad Wakai graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Journalism. While an undergrad, he did work at the student radio station covering different Penn State athletic programs like football, basketball, volleyball, soccer and other sports. Brad currently is the Lead Contributor for Nittany Lions Wire of Gannett Media where he continues to cover Penn State athletics. He is also a contributor at FanSided, writing about the Philadelphia 76ers for The Sixers Sense. Brad is the host of the sports podcast I Said What I Said, discussing topics across the NFL, College Football, the NBA and other sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @bwakai