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Masahiro Tanaka and Jesse Crain Are Cubs’ Remaining Free-Agent Targets

December 29, 2013 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

As the MLB offseason winds down and the pickings get slimmer and slimmer for every team, each club figures to have a couple of more players on their Christmas wish list that didn't quite make it for the holiday season. For the Chicago Cubs, there are two remaining players that could land in Chicago by the time the snow melts in the spring.  With most of the hitters off the open market, there are two arms that President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer are upset weren't in their stockings on Wednesday.  The relief pitcher that could land ...

Why the 2014 Season Will Be Better Than 2013 for Chicago Cubs Fans

December 20, 2013 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

For Cubs fans, the last few years have been rough. Well, let's be honest, the past century has been pretty tough for the Cubby faithful. 2013 was another season that saw the team lose more than 90 games, but hope is on the horizon.  While 2014 doesn't seem like it will be anything special for the North Siders, it does present more excitement and likely more wins than 2013 for a couple of reasons.    Improved Bullpen Drastically improving the bullpen will help get more checks in the win column in 2014. As is well-known, the Cubs' bullpen was abysmal in the first few ...

Chicago Cubs Bullpen: With New Additions, Can the Unit Be Effective?

December 20, 2013 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

A year ago, the Chicago Cubs bullpen was a weak point. That's saying something. Slowly but surely, the unit got better in the second half of the season, and now with some new additions to the 'pen, it looks like the team actually might be able to secure some wins for its starting pitchers.  Trades and player development last season along with free-agent signings this offseason have helped completely turn around the bullpen. Key additions in the past year include Pedro Strop, Wesley Wright and Jose Veras.   Projected Cubs Bullpen Hector Rondon (Long Relief) Rondon, who made his major league debut last season, had an ERA ...

Reassessing Chicago Cubs’ Offseason Plan and What’s Next

December 17, 2013 by Adam Wells · Leave a Comment 

Even though the results aren't showing up at Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs are heading in the right direction. It's hard to see when a team is coming off a last-place finish in the National League Central and 96 losses in 2013, but there is a plan in place that will start to bear fruit soon.  General manager Jed Hoyer and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, both entering their third season guiding the Cubs' front office in 2014, took over a disastrous situation with expensive contracts for aging players and no depth or star power in the farm system.  The duo, ...

5 Changes the Cubs Should Make Before Spring Training

December 14, 2013 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

With the 29th annual Cubs Convention just around the corner and Spring Training on the horizon, there are still some things the Cubs need to get figured out before they break camp. It's clear that the Cubs aren't going to get big players on the free-agent market, but there are subtle moves both on and off the field that need to be made by late February. This is a look at five changes the Cubs need to make in order to make 2014, and more importantly the future, more successful.Begin Slideshow

Chicago Cubs: Predicting the Next Three Years of Baseball on the North Side

December 13, 2013 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

The Cubs are still very much in the rebuilding stage right now, but for the first time since team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer arrived, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel. Many top prospects are starting to inch closer to the big league squad and big-name free agents will likely be targeted starting in 2015.  With excitement for the team building painfully slowly, here's a realistic look ahead to what the next three years of baseball on Chicago's north side figure to look like.   The 2014 Season: Going into this season, the Cubs are still ...

Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija Trade Discussion Might Be Put on Ice at Winter Meetings

December 11, 2013 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

Since they aren't likely to make a splash this offseason, the biggest move that the Chicago Cubs could make is signing pitcher Jeff Samardzija to a contract extension. One of the hottest topics of the early offseason was whether the Cubs would trade Samardzija or offer him an extension. A couple of recent developments have made it less likely that a resolution will come any time soon.  About a week ago, Samardzija was reportedly offered a five-year, $55 million contract extension, according to Bruce Levine of Chicago's 670 The Score. The fact that the generous offer is still on the table shows ...

When Should the Chicago Cubs Commit to Spending Big Money Again?

December 10, 2013 by Joel Reuter · Leave a Comment 

This MLB offseason marks the third that Theo Epstein and company have been at the reins of the Chicago Cubs, and to this point, it has been a relatively quiet winter on the North Side. That's not a big change from the past two years, as the new front office staff has been methodical in its approach towards rebuilding the franchise from the ground up and putting its stamp on the organization. Here is a look at the offseason moves that have been made since Epstein was first hired on Oct. 12, 2011: Of that group, David DeJesus, Reed Johnson, Paul Maholm, Scott ...

Remaining Concerns the Chicago Cubs Must Address in the 2013 Offseason

December 6, 2013 by Jason S. Parini · Leave a Comment 

As Chicago prepares itself for its first major snowstorm of the season, members of the Ricketts family and the front office prepare to make the trip to Orlando for next week's winter meetings. Jealous much? Thought so. Many topics will be addressed and decided on at the meetings, from the future of instant replay to the fate of free agents around the league. Like every franchise, the Cubs also have many topics to address. The team has already begun to make moves, including the signing of free-agent reliever Wesley Wright and the acquisition of Kansas City Royals catcher George Kottaras. Let's take a look at ...

Chicago Cubs Bolster Bullpen with Addition of LHP Wesley Wright

December 5, 2013 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

The Chicago Cubs have added to an already improved bullpen by inking Wesley Wright to a one-year contract worth $1.425 million, via Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. By adding the left-handed Wright, the Cubs have made their bullpen far more versatile.  The 28-year-old, who spent his entire career with the Houston Astros until being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays last summer, posted an ERA of 3.27 in 2012 and 3.69 in 2013. Averaging more than 9 K/9IP, Wright has shown that he can miss some bats.  While the move will go under the radar in the grand scheme of free agency, ...

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