The Cubs had acquired Freel on May 8 from Baltimore for outfielder Joey Gathright, and he went 4-for-28 in 14 games with the team. Freel also spent time on the disabled list because of a sore hamstring. He started the season with the Orioles, and was 2-for-15 in nine games there.
Freel, 33, has a career .269 average, and spent most of his career (2003-08) with Cincinnati.
The Cubs had added Freel thinking he could help as a backup at third base while Aramis Ramirez healed from a dislocated left shoulder. The move didn't work, and the Cubs instead inserted rookie Jake Fox at third and also added infielder Jeff Baker last Thursday. Ramirez was to be activated on Monday.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.