Chicago Cubs: Ten players you may have forgotten were once on the team
Chicago Cubs: Jason Kendall
Though he’s not talked about much, Jason Kendall had a great career. His 41.7 WAR ranks 21st all-time among catchers. He began his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1996 and made the All-Star team three times. He had six seasons in which he batted over .300 and reached double digits in stolen bases nine times. Overall, he collected 2,195 hits, including an impressive 394 doubles.
In 2007, the Chicago Cubs were in contention for the National League Central crown. They did have a problem at catcher, however. Michael Barrett had become one of the league’s better offensive catchers, batting .307 with 16 home runs in 2006. Yet one afternoon early in the season, cameras caught him and star pitcher Carlos Zambrano getting into a physical altercation in the Cubs’ dugout.
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Barrett was gaining a reputation as a hothead, as he had also punched A.J. Pierzynski in a game against the Chicago White Sox. Thus, the Cubs traded Barrett away to the San Diego Padres and decided to fill the void by trading for catcher Jason Kendall from the Oakland Athletics.
Though the Cubs would win the division, Kendall didn’t do much in his time with the Cubs. In 57 games, he batted .270 with just one home run, which is better than when he was with the A’s and hit just .226 earlier in the season. By the end of the year, Geovany Soto was earning playing time as the catcher; he would win Rookie of the Year in 2008. Meanwhile, Kendall left and signed as a free agent with the Milwaukee Brewers.