This forgotten Chicago Cubs prospect turned MLB All-Star just retired

A former Chicago Cubs catching prospect has called it a career.

Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

Faced with the need for an upgrade to their starting rotation during the 2008 season, the Chicago Cubs traded for Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Rich Harden.

One of the prospects the Cubs included in their offering to the Athletics was a throw-in catching prospect. Josh Donaldson was drafted by the Cubs in 2007 with the initial plan including a position change to catcher.

Donaldson was an afterthought in the trade but a position change to third base led to him reaching the Major League level with the Athletics in 2010.

Donaldson's breakout season with the Athletics was in 2014 when he earned his first selection to the American League All-Star team while hitting 29 home runs. The 2014 season marked the first of four consecutive seasons where he eclipsed at least 25 home runs in a season.

Despite the power that was often present in his offensive profile, Donaldson struggled to find a long-term as he never spent more than two seasons with a team after he was a mainstay in the Toronto Blue Jays' lineup from 2015 through the start of the 2018 season.

Donaldson has also been a sub-.200 hitter in each of the last four seasons and despite the need that the Cubs have had at third base, there never was consideration for the veteran returning to the organization that drafted him.

Josh Donaldson never played a game for the Chicago Cubs but had an impact on the organization.

After failing to find a new home free agency, Donaldson announced his retirement on Monday.

Donaldson's greatest contribution to the Cubs was that he provided the organization with one of the most electric pitchers the organization has ever seen in Harden.

While injuries limited Harden's availability during his two seasons with the Cubs, his 2008 season was a foreshadowing of the run Jake Arrieta went on with the team during his Cy Young campaign in 2015. Harden posted a 1.77 ERA in 12 starts with the Cubs while averaging over 11 strikeouts per 9 innings.

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