The Chicago Cubs have released utilityman Robel Garcia, according to MiLB.com’s official transactions page.
Garcia “is expected to pursue a career overseas,” Tommy Birch of The Des Moines Register reports, so this move could be a precursor to Garcia quickly announcing a deal with a non-MLB team.
Garcia made his MLB debut with the Cubs in 2019 and hit a respectable .208/.275/.500 with five home runs over his first 80 plate appearances. This trip to the big leagues was the culmination of a rather unusual path for Garcia, who was out of affiliated baseball entirely from 2014-16 and then played two seasons in Italy before resurfacing in the Cubs’ minor league system.
From there, Garcia became a popular waiver claim candidate, as he was a member of five different organizations (Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, Los Angeles Angels, Houston Astros) between July 2020 and February 2021. After finally landing in Houston, Garcia hit .151/.216/.208 over 117 PA last season.
This year, Garcia had been on fire with Triple-A Iowa, batting .295/.394/.619 with 12 home runs in 165 PA. However, as Birch observes, Garcia was seen as an expendable piece given the crowded state of Chicago’s infield. The 29-year-old Garcia will now look, for the second time, to revive his career with a stint in an international league.