Phegley's agency, Pro Star Management, announced Wednesday that the 32-year-old catcher has elected to retire from professional baseball. The agency cited "family considerations and business opportunities" as factors in Phegley's decision to end his playing career. The veteran backstop saw big-league action in each of the last eight seasons, accruing a career .225/.268/.381 slash line to go with 35 home runs over 388 games with the White Sox, Athletics and Cubs.
The Cubs selected Phegley's contract from their alternate training site Wednesday ahead of Game 1 of the team's wild-card series with the Marlins, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. Chicago designated reliever Josh Osich for assignment to make room on the 40-man and active rosters for Phegley. The 32-year-old is expected to serve as the No. 3 backstop behind Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini for the duration of the Cubs' postseason run.
Phegley cleared waivers and was assigned outright to the Cubs' alternate training site Thursday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. The Cubs decided to stop carrying three catchers after trading for Jose Martinez, so Phegley was designated for assignment and went unclaimed. He will serve as organizational catching depth going forward.
The Cubs designated Phegley for assignment Sunday, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports. Phegley has seen little work this season as the Cubs' No. 3 catcher, so he was a logical option to bump off the 40-man roster and 28-man active roster to clear room for designated hitter Jose Martinez, who was acquired from the Rays on Sunday. Given that he has eight years of MLB catching experience, Phegley could have some appeal on the waiver wire for teams looking for veteran depth behind the dish.
Phegley will serve as the Cubs' designated hitter and will bat seventh in the first game of Monday's doubleheader with the Cardinals. Phegley has been with the Cubs since Opening Day, but he'll be making his second start of the season Monday, both of which have come as a designated hitter. He doesn't appear destined to handle even a part-time role unless the Cubs lose one of their top catchers (Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini) for an extended period.