This past weekend the Chicago Cubs announced Aramis Ramirez and Kerry Wood would enter the Cubs Hall of Fame. Both Ramirez and Wood were teammates on the division-winning 2003, 2007, and 2008 teams and were cornerstones of the franchise that decade. One might wonder if those two got in, what about their longtime teammates Carlos Zambrano and Derrek Lee?
Zambrano was with the Cubs from 2001 to 2011 and Lee from 2004-2010. Both were a part of the 2007 and 2008 teams. Lee and Ramirez were an underrated offensive corner infield duo, while Zambrano was the ace of the staff.
Lee is fourth in all-time games played at first by a Cub (924) behind Mark Grace, Charlie Grimm, and Anthony Rizzo. He hit .298/.378/.524 with 179 home runs and .902 OPS on the North Side; his .902 OPS is the third highest on the qualified franchise list behind Hack Wilson and Sammy Sosa. Lee also sports the fourth-highest slugging (.525), 11th-highest on-base percentage (.378), and 13th most home runs (179) in Cubs franchise history. It's also worth noting in 2005, he produced the second-most extra-base hits (99) by any Cub in a single season.
Zambrano pitched to a 3.60 ERA, 3.98 FIP, 1.32 WHIP, and 1,542 strikeouts and won 125 games as a Cub. His 1,542 strikeouts are second-most by a Cubs pitcher behind Fergie Jenkins. While wins are not the measuring stick of effectiveness as they once were, his 125 wins are 15th in franchise history. He has three All-Star appearances and a no-hitter as part of his Cubs resume as well. His no-hitter in 2008 was the first Cubs no-no since Milt Pappas in 1972 and the only one at a neutral ballpark.
Both seem like legitimate candidates to be part of Cubs' immortality. The stats especially stand out for Lee. It is easy to forget how productive he was, considering he was often overshadowed by the likes of Albert Pujols. Zambrano also put up some really good numbers, though unfortunately he was often his own worst enemy and one could wonder what he could have been had things gone differently with him personally. It was sad when he was eventually traded to the Marlins before the 2012 season after his Cubs playing career fell apart. Luckily today, burned bridges with the Cubs have been mended and he has found peace and is in a great place.