With the absence of the Houston Astros in the National League Central, many experts believe the Chicago Cubs will finish dead last in the division. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since the Cubs lost 101 games in 2012, and didn’t really make much of an effort to improve.
Unlike the past two off-seasons, there is no star power in the free agent class following the 2013 campaign. No Josh Hamilton, no Albert Pujols. With Robinson Cano being the only elite player (and seemingly out of the Cubs’ price range), the Cubs will have to develop through their farm system and await future free agent classes with more talent. It doesn’t help that the Cubs are hamstringed with the contract of Alfonso Soriano, so if he can be shipped off during the season, there may be some hope for the prospect of free agents coming to Chicago.
Getting rid of that Soriano contract (which Cubs fans will still shake their heads at) can free up a lot of money for other high-level free agents that include Adam Wainwright, Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Johnson and Hunter Pence. The only down part is that the Cubs would have to sacrifice their largest source of power baseball on the roster. It’s a small price to pay for the future of the franchise, though.
With the free agency picture looking dim, the Cubs will have to depend on a surging farm system to get prepared for 2016 and beyond. The Cubs clearly don’t have the power on the mound or at the plate to be a contender until at least then. Hopefully, some of the younger stars will have developed by then. Players such as Starlin Castro, Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters and Anthony Rizzo. If they do continue their development and become stars, then the Cubs will be contenders again. But it’s not going to happen overnight, though, so we just have to learn to be patient until then.
Korey Beckett is a baseball writer for RantSports. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.