5 players who the Chicago Cubs gave up on too soon

The Cubs wish they could take back some of these trades.
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets / Kidwiler Collection/GettyImages

Sometimes, a player does not immediately become a star upon entering Major League Baseball. The Chicago Cubs are no strangers to that fact, as the team has had their fair share of players walk through the locker room at Wrigley Field who may not have thrived at first but did at their next stop.

Five players the Chicago Cubs gave up on too soon.

  • 5. DJ LeMahieu

DJ LeMahieu had an unremarkable rookie stint with the Cubs, slashing .250/.262/.283, with an OPS+ of 50. At the end of the 2011 season, the Cubs traded LeMahieu to the Rockies for Casey Weathers and Ian Stewart, neither of whom would contribute meaningfully to the Cubs. LeMahieu would go on to become the Rockies’ starting second baseman, winning a batting title, three Gold Gloves, and appearing in two all-star games. He currently plays for the Yankees, where he has won another batting title, Gold Glove, and a pair of silver sluggers.

  • 4. Jamie Moyer

Jamie Moyer may be famous for his times with the Mariners and Phillies, but he started his long career in Chicago, providing over 200 innings in both 1987 and 1988. However, he showed inconsistency on the mound and the Cubs traded him to the Rangers in 1989. Although it took some time for him to develop, Moyer grew into a consistent starting pitcher, averaging over 200 innings per season with a 3.75 ERA and a 113-53 record between 1997 and 2003.

  • 3. Joe Carter

Blue Jays playoff hero Joe Carter got his cup of coffee with the Cubs and was largely terrible, slashing .176/.176/.235 with no home runs. The Cubs traded him to Cleveland for Rick Sutcliffe and almost immediately became a power presence, hitting over 400 doubles and nearly 400 home runs for his career. This trade was not all bad for the Cubs, however, as Sutcliffe put together a stellar 1984 campaign, going 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA en route to an NL Cy Young award.

2: Rafael Palmeiro

PEDs aside, Rafael Palmeiro is a prime example of a player who put up good but not great numbers with a team, only to get traded and put together a Hall-of-Fame-level career. Palmeiro started his career with the Cubs and put up solid numbers, hitting 41 doubles but with only eight home runs in 1988. The Cubs moved him to Texas in the Jamie Moyer trade and quickly became one of the most prolific power hitters of the 1990s with both the Rangers and Orioles, finishing his career with 3,020 hits and 569 home runs.

  • 1. Lou Brock

The Brock for Broglio trade is one of the most infamous in Cubs history. At the time, however, it may have been somewhat defensible, as Brock had a career .689 OPS with the Cubs for an OPS+ of 88. He showed flashes of speed, stealing 24 bases in 1963, but little else. Brock would go on to play 16 seasons for the Cardinals, amassing 434 doubles, 888 stolen bases, and compiling a 112 OPS+ after his trade. Broglio, on the other hand, saw his ERA rise from 2.99 in his last full season in St. Louis, to 3.82 in 1964, and 6.93 in 1965. He would not play another MLB game after 1966.