MLB Chicago Cubs

5 Realistic Moves Chicago Cubs Could Make This Offseason

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Five Moves The Cubs Could Make This Offseason

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

This next offseason could be key for the Chicago Cubs' future.

The organization presided by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer is coming off another dismal season where they lost almost 100 games, and even when there were some improvements in the win-loss column, the lineup has several holes that need to be patched sooner rather than later.

While the Cubs aren’t expected to make big signings in this offseason as they have lots of talent waiting in the minors that should start arriving to the Show in the next season, there are some areas that need to be fixed through free agency.

The Cubs need some veteran leaders, players that can hit lefties and some help in the pitching department. Epstein’s regime has been characterized for making short-term deals for players poised to have comeback years, and even when the strategy has given the results expected to re-stock the farm with prospects, it’s time the Cubs make moves to improve the roster while also not blocking the younger players slated to arrive in 2014.

It’s likely that the Cubs will focus on short-team deals for proven veterans that can give leadership to the clubhouse and mentor the younger players, so while they aren’t expected to be major players in the sweepstakes for guys like Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury, they have the payroll flexibility to make a major move if the right player is made available.

Without further ado, please join me through this slideshow as we analyze five possible moves that the Chicago Cubs could make this offseason.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google

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5. Re-Signing Dioner Navarro

Matt Kartozian - USA Today Sports

Welington Castillo is the long-term answer at catching for the Cubs, but they still need to sign a veteran backup, a role where Dioner Navarro excelled last year. There’s a chance that the former All-Star can get a starting gig based on his performance last season, but if the Cubs have the chance to bring him back, they should jump at it immediately.

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4. Signing Reed Johnson

Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports

Reed Johnson already spent time with the Cubs not too long as he was traded in the 2012 season to the Atlanta Braves organization that bought out his contract a few days ago. Johnson can provide solid defense at the three outfield positions and he can hit lefties, two things this team needs desperately.

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3. Get An Upgrade At Second Base

David Kohl - USA Today Sports

Darwin Barney didn’t have a solid year at the plate last season, and while he’s an asset defensively, the Cubs need some offense. They can either non-tender him, promote Arismendy Alcantara, use Logan Watkins or even Luis Valbuena, but one thing is certain: the Cubs do need to get more production offensively out of second base.

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2. Sign Curtis Granderson

Brad Penner - USA Today Sports

A Chicago native, Curtis Granderson is one of the free agents that fit the mold of what the Cubs are looking for. He’s a veteran presence who’s been on winning teams, he can play in the outfield and he’s a good hitter. He had his fair share of injuries with the New York Yankees last year, but he would nice addition to the roster if he's able to stay on the field.

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1. Pursue Masahiro Tanaka

Image Courtesy of The Japan Times' Facebook Page

The Cubs have the flexibility on the payroll and the need to sign someone like Masahiro Tanaka. The only problem is that they would have to compete with the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Theo Epstein already said they’d give their maximum effort to land the Japanese hurler. He would speed things up in the rebuilding process if he’s able to translate his game into MLB.