MLB Chicago Cubs

5 Reasons for Chicago Cubs Fans to Be Thankful Heading into 2014

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Five Reasons Cubs Fans Can Be Thankful

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs’ fans are surely happy that the 2013 season was over.

Another dismal performance in terms of a win-loss record put them in the bottom of the standings of the NL Central this past year and the fact that several pieces of the roster were traded near the deadline depleted an already weak roster down the stretch.

But that doesn’t mean that Cubs fans don’t have reasons to be thankful looking toward the future. Dale Sveum is gone and Rick Renteria arrived as the new leader of the team, meaning that there are several changes coming along that should improve the team with a new breeze of air.

The farm is stockpiled with prospects and with some of them at the upper levels of the minors, it’s highly likely that the Cubs could start seeing the waves of talent at Wrigley Field as early as this year. There are several core players already at the big league roster and the team should improve from their previous two seasons, and it’s expected that this is the year the Cubs start to turn the corner in their rebuilding process.

With several reasons to be excited both in the minors, majors and even front office, 2014 should be a much better for the Cubs if things go according to plan.

Without further ado, please join me through this slideshow as we check the five reasons why the Chicago Cubs fans are thankful to be heading to 2014.

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. Managerial Change

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Much of the stress in the clubhouse last year was due to Dale Sveum’s inability to communicate with the young players. With him gone and the arrival of Rick Renteria, the Cubs should have a new ambiance in the locker room that will only be beneficial looking toward the future.

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4. Team Development

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the struggles of Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, the team is developing nicely. Mike Olt will have the chance to get the 3B job out of Spring Training, Welington Castillo took huge steps to be considered as the catcher of the future and Travis Wood seems like a rotation lock after his All-Star year. The young guys at the Majors are taking steps forward and if both Castro and Rizzo can bounce back, things could be quite different for the Cubs next season.

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3. Much Improved Bullpen

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The bullpen was a disaster last year, but things should be different next season. A lot of power arms will fight their way to the pen, and the presence of solid arms like James Russell and Pedro Strop should mean that the Cubs won’t have such a bad time with their relievers in 2014.

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2. Rebuilding Plan Is Working

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs might not have a solid team at the major league level, but the farm is a whole different story. Three Cubs affiliates reached the playoffs last season and the A+ class won the Championship; so, the fact that things are being done the right way should create some excitement toward the future.

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1. Javier Baez and Kris Bryant

Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

The excitement of the fan base is due to the prospects the Cubs have, so it’s only fair that the main reason to be hopeful going into next year are Javier Baez and Kris Bryant. The two impact prospects have "superstar" written all over them and they should be a nice addition to the lineup for years to come.