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Chicago Cubs State Of The Union For 2016

I absolutely love the singing of Zobrist for the Cubs. He is a quality veteran Utility guy for this young versatile club. Zobrist at 35 may have been pricey at the four year deal work, but they were able to trade away Starlin Castro as a result. Zobrist was vital to the Royals postseason run - and is Joe Maddon's favorite all time player. His ability to switch all over the field will give guys like Schwarber, Baez, Soler and Russell all the availability to thrive with matchup maneuvers. The Cubs should not stop here though. They need to acquire a CF - and trade for a #3 starter at some point in the next 8 months.

I absolutely love the signing of Zobrist for the Cubs. He is a quality veteran Utility guy for this young versatile club. Zobrist at 35 may have been pricey at the four year deal work, but they were able to trade away Starlin Castro as a result. Zobrist was vital to the Royals 2015 World Series Playoff run – and is Joe Maddon’s favorite all time player. His ability to switch all over the field will give guys like Schwarber, Baez, Soler and Russell all the availability to thrive with matchup maneuvers. The Cubs should not stop here though. They need to acquire a CF – and trade for a #3 starter at some point in the next 8 months.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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The Cubs finally threw their names in the ring on the Free Agent front this week by first signing ultra  Utility man Ben Zobrist to a 4 YR/$56 MIL -on the heels of  John Lackey to a 2 YR/$32 MIL deal.

The club also dealt Starlin Castro away for another team controllable pitcher in Adam Warren.  These are significant steps in the right direction to start their run at the 2016 NL Central Division Title,

2015 was a nice breakout season – and the furthest the team has gone in 12 years however this franchise needs to spend as much money and continue to pursue an end to their century plus World Series drought.

There is no question all other 29 clubs would trade their offensive rosters for the value the young Chicago NL squad is going to put forth the next 5 years.

The Cubs have a unique chance to dominate in their Division during the next 3 - 4 years - however this will come at an expedient price tag as the next few years approach. The franchise should go for it all right now while the club has all of these players under team control - and many of them not even qualifying for Arbitration yet.

The Cubs have a unique chance to dominate in their Division during the next 3 – 4 years – however this will come at an expedient price tag as the next few years approach. The franchise should go for it all right now while the club has all of these players under team control – and many of them not even qualifying for Arbitration yet.

Already this offseason the club loses their leadoff man for the previous year with Dexter Fowler.  This is a gentleman that registered over 100 Runs, and yielded a great OBP for a lineup that features a ton of Strikeouts.

The brass will never have a greater time to add to the club then right now.  Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler have just started their time in the Major League service.

Jon Lester may also have a prime year left or 2 – and Jake Arrieta delivered a Cy Young season.  If the young RHP matches his production in both 2016 and 2017, he will be price himself out of the market beyond that.

If I were in the Cubs shoes right now, I would have inked one of the top pitchers on the market no matter what the dollar figures were.

Since they lost on David Price, Zack Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann, that leaves Johnny Cueto as an ace left on the table.  They may not commit resources to go after him either.

Okay. So Lester and Arrieta definitely could continue as your #1 and #2 for the next 2 years, and perhaps John Lackey, Jason Hammel, Adam Warren and Kyle Hendricks will eat enough innings for the team.  I am not sold on the rotation – and especially in the playoffs.

One of the factors that is so great about the Cubs is the ability to pull off a trade for how much depth they have.  If the management wants to wait until the mid year area to address their needs it may be a gamble worth taking – however can they afford to wait in a Division with both the Cards and Bucs residing?

I would not be afraid to trade Javier Baez or even Jorge Soler if it netted solid #2 or #3 Starter for the next 3 to 4 years of team control.

Chicago should add pitching depth to the Starters, and also shore up some Relief Innings as well.  They would be wise to seek the likes of Casey Janssen and Tyler Clippard for this.  Guys that may be able to Close. 

Another good move would be to take a flier on injured Closer Greg Holland.  He underwent Tommy John Surgery, and may not pitch in 2016 at all, but he would be worth if for the 2017 Roster.

The untouchables on this club offensively should be Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Russell and Schwarber. That is the nucleus of your offense going forward – with a nice balance of right and left handed hitters. 

Bryant, Rizzo and Schwarber all have 30+ HR and 100 RBI a year written all over them – with all of them also having keen eyes at the plate.

The Nationals were 36 - 25 in the games that Denard Span appeared in for the 2015 year. He is going to help some offense as a legitimate leadoff man in 2016 who can play a decent CF.

The Nationals were 36 – 25 in the games that Denard Span appeared in for the 2015 year. He is going to help some offense as a legitimate leadoff man in 2016 who can play a decent CF.  The Cubs should really try to lure his services over to the Windy City.  Span 3 Slashed .295/.345/.404 over the last 3 years for the Nationals – and is a better option at the leadoff spot than Zobrist would be – who profiles better as a #2 batter.

I think that Denard Span would be a suitable replacement for Dexter Fowler on this roster.  They could probably obtain him for a lot cheaper – and the man hits for a higher Batting Average then Fowler has mustered in his post Colorado days.  Pay him 3 – 4 years at the $11 – $13 MIL range.

There not many quality Centerfielders left on the open market. Austin Jackson, Alejandro De Aza or Will Venable may be a cheaper alternative but Span is the best fit for the team by far – and they should do anything they can to secure him up.

Perhaps trading partners for other CF’s could include Houston with Carlos Gomez being a Free Agent in 2017, and also never discount the Cubs dealing for a Charlie Blackmon.  With Baez and Soler becoming potentially available – that may be the kind of deal the Colorado organization would go for.

The team has a decent amount of Bullpen arms that can throw, and I never am one for doling out a ton of money on multiple players for the Relief Core.  So besides maybe one Free Agent acquisition, the club would be better off developing their own guys.

Hector Rondon has a lot of depth now with a guy Like Rex Brothers joining the Relief Core.  He worked the role for Colorado in 2013 to the tune of 19 Saves and a 1.74 ERA in the mile high city.

The NL Central is a beast of a Division with the Pirates and Cards both having finished ahead of Chicago with 100 and 98 Wins respectively.  While I think Pittsburgh will fall back a few victories in 2016 – the St. Louis squad is always tough.

For the oddsmakers, they have the Cubs listed as the favorites to win the NL Pennant in 2016, and appear in the Fall Classic for the first time since 1945 in the World Series.

Theo Epstein has to be creative with his forethought here.  If they don’t rummage up enough depth during the winter – he has to keep his foot on the pedal all year long.

With long-term contracts running north of $30 MIL for premium players – extending all of these great young players seems harder to do than ever.  Sign a few more guys right now while the guys are all under the entry-level deals.

With the unique circumstances of having many core star position guys in the same age bracket right now, the time to pounce is now.

With Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez and Addison Russell all under 2 years of service time, these offensive young gems will not be paid very much in the next few years. The Cubs also have breakout starter Jake Arrieta for 2 more years under club control before he hits the open market. Spend the money now and go for it Chicago!

With 2015 NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez and Addison Russell all under 2 years of service time, these offensive young gems will not be paid very much in the next few years. The Cubs also have breakout starter Jake Arrieta for 2 more years under club control before he hits the open market. Spend the money now and go for it Chicago!

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

I am happy to be back at the helm of the MLB Reports, after completing my record 224 Games in the MLB Trip in 2015.  It was the 4th time I have seen all 30 MLB Parks since 2008. 

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Interview on CSN Philly during the month of July.

Interview on CSN Philly during the month of July.

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at https://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/

Posted on December 9, 2015, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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