Bryan LaHair was designated for assignment today. I think we generally hoped he would have a teeny tiny bit of trade value, but maybe he didn't or maybe the Cubs thought they should do right by him and just let him go so he can pursue an opportunity elsewhere (the talks of Japan are most prevalent).
But no matter the reasons they came to the decision, the fact is that Bryan LaHair is gone from the Cubs just four months after representing them in the All-Star game. Has that ever happened before?
It certainly hasn't happened with the Cubs in my lifetime. The closest instances are probably the guys who were traded in the off-season after an All-Star appearance and their career ended after the next season. That happened to George Bell after his 1991 All-Star appearance when he got traded to the White Sox for Sammy Sosa. It also happened after Ron Santo made his last All-Star game in 1973 and then also traded to the White Sox for one last season.
But as unusual as the move is historically, it really isn't that strange when you consider the options the Cubs had with LaHair. The league had pretty much figured him out, so a return to his prolific first couple of months was unlikely. He just turned 30 years old a couple of weeks ago, so he's not exactly young anymore. He doesn't play anywhere defensively very well and his best position is currently occupied by Anthony Rizzo. So he could rot on the bench or the Cubs could trade him or they can set him free. So they loved him enough that they cut his time with them short.
So it is understandable, but some folks are not having as easy a time understanding the situation. To be fair, those tweets are a clear minority, so I'm actually kind of proud of Cubs fans for not throwing a collective hissy fit. There are actually more fans of other teams drooling over the possibility of signing LaHair off the scrap pile. They must be the people who read Rant Sports.