The Chicago CUbs new front office seems to have defined the immediate direction of the ball club and it may not be pretty for most Cubs fans. Talk of a complete rebuild has been rampant. The club’s inactivity in free agency coupled with the trade of Sean Marshall seems to lend creedance to the talk.
The Cubs lack high impact hitting prospects in the upper minors. Center Fielder Brett Jackson stands out among the crowd. If the Cubs do enter a full scale rebuilding process Jackson figures to play a prominent role. The only question regarding Jackson’s arrival at Wrigley Field is “When”?
Jackson is just 22. He had a solid if unspectacular 67 game run at Double A Tennessee where he hit 10 home runs, stole 15 bases and posted a .816 OPS. Jackson was promoted to Triple A Iowa where he was even more impressive. In 48 games Jackson added another 10 home runs and 6 steals with a .939 OPS.
The additions of David DeJesus (signed as a free agent) and Dave Sappelt (acquired in Sean Marshall trade) put Jackson’s immediate future in question. The Cubs also re-signed Reed Johnson last week further muddying the outfield picture. Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano could be headed out of town as the front office explores further trade options. If Byrd is dealt the team could use Johnson and Sappelt as center field stop gaps to buy additional time for Jackson.
Whether Jackson begins the season patrolling center field in Chicago or Iowa remains in question, the only thing that seems to be clear is his promise as a future Major League contributor in Chicago, or some other locale. After all, in a full scale rebuilding mode no one is untouchable.