Here are the guys you probably didn't realize will get Cubs' World Series rings
Brian Matusz and Joel Peralta might get World Series rings
When the Cubs have their home opener at Wrigley Field next season, they'll most certainly open with a ring ceremony. The returning stars like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo will get their rings along with the rest of their teammates. Some players who played a key role with be with different teams (Dexter Fowler, perhaps) and get theirs shortly thereafter.
Of course, it's possible everyone who appeared in a game in 2016 gets one. Generally that's how it is done, as the World Series champions are feeling all gooey. They'll even justify the contributions of some players. Check this out, from an Associated Press article on the subject in 2015 regarding the 2014 Giants giving Dan Uggla a World Series ring after he went 0 for 11.
"With him struggling like he did, it opened up the door for Joe Panik, and we probably wouldn't have won the World Series without Joe Panik," recently retired Giants pitcher Tim Hudson said. "So everybody who's hating on Dan should probably be glad he didn't do so well. If he had hit .240 or .250, he might have stuck around and there wouldn't have been Joe Panik."
Huddy with the stretch!
With this in mind, let's find a few of the Cubs who didn't finish the season in the organization who could get a ring and justify their inclusion.
Contribution: The lefty was good for the Cubs in 2015, but this time around it was a different story. After a 6.43 ERA in 25 outings, he was out. He wound up throwing well for the Padres. There were some good outings in important games mixed in, though, such as May 7 against the Nationals.
Contribution: Warren came over in the Starlin Castro trade, which freed the Cubs up to sign Ben Zobrist, so that's something right off the bat. He then went back to the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman trade. In all, he served his purpose, really. As far as his performance goes, Warren had some good moments and sported a 1.72 ERA through 15 outings. His overall numbers are bad, but that's mostly because of just a few stinkers.
Contribution: The right-handed reliever actually worked four scoreless innings with three strikeouts through April 20. In his next four outings, though, Ramirez gave up four runs on four hits and six walks in four innings. He wouldn't appear again after May 18.
Contribution: Nathan appeared in three games in late July for the Cubs, working two scoreless innings. He actually picked up the win in a wild game on July 24 after striking out three straight hitters with runners on second and third base (he put them there, but still had to get out of it). A roster crunch took care of him before August, though.
Contribution: Peralta appeared in five games in late June and early July and wasn't good, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits. Opposing hitters had some fun against him (.353/.421/.765). He did record an all-important double play to end the 13th inning on June 28 in an eventual 15-inning victory (it was a rocket line drive), so give him a ring!
Contribution: The lefty stretched out in the minors in order to make a start on July 31. He was shelled by the Mariners, allowing six runs on six hits, including three home runs. It set the table for one of the Cubs' most thrilling victories of the season, as they would come back from a 6-3 deficit heading into the ninth, tie it in the ninth and win in the bottom of the 12th on a Jon Lester safety squeeze. Without Matusz, they might not have won that game, and that was his only appearance with the team.
Those guys will get World Series rings for the first Cubs championship since 1908 and therefore one hell of a keepsake. That's fun. They were good enough to merit a spot on the roster at some point in the season, so more power to them. It's just a little funny considering the team we saw the last few months, right? But it happens every year with every team.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
We're on the other side of the winter meetings, but there's plenty of offseason action ahe...
Baseball's unofficial salary cap is working
Adams spent part of last season with Washington
The 31-year-old slashed .250/.317/.421 last season
The rookie manager will inherit a team that lost 115 games a season ago
Kinsler would likely fill a utility infield role for the Padres