The Athletic has a story up today about the substantial layoffs the Chicago Cubs have implemented on both the business and baseball sides of the organization. The Cubs have, per this report, let over 100 individuals go in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Folks who were let go included some names that are familiar from their playing days, such as Bob Tewksbury, John Koronka, Keith Lockhart and Matt Murton. The one name that jumped out at me, though, is Spike Lundberg, who was laid off from his position as special assignment scouts.
Lundberg is a name that is very familiar to those who followed the Rangers online — and in particular, followed the Newberg Minor League Report — back around the turn of the century. Lundberg was a righthanded pitcher who was a 26th round pick out of San Diego Mesa College in 1977, and who spent 1997 through 2003 in the Rangers’ system, spending the 2000-03 seasons either in AA or AAA. Lundberg was never a capital-P “prospect,” but he was someone who was a solid organizational guy, well respected, and who was a regular participant with NMLR events, as well as contributing online diary entries for the NMLR.
After 2003, Lundberg pitched in the minors for the Phillies, the Dodgers and the Blue Jays, hanging around in the upper minors but never making the majors. He pitched in the Mexican League in 2008 and 2009, after which he retired and worked for Scott Boras’s agency as well as the Houston Astros before joining the Cubs after the 2016 season.
Lundberg is one of those guys who will always have a special place for a certain segment of Rangers fans who were around at a certain time. Here’s hoping he lands on his feet and finds a good spot going forward.