Addition by subtraction will not be enough...we also need some addition by addition
Going by the OPS+ statistic as an indicator of hitting productivity, do you know who was third on the team in 2009 (amongst players of 300+ ABs) in OPS+, after DLee and ARam?
No fair peeking at the tag. Of course it was Milton Bradley. He barely edged out Fooky in both OBP and SLG. Miltie's OPS+ was 104, which roughly means he was slightly above the average major league baseball player at the plate. Fooky's was 101, which means he was pretty much an average MLB hitter, in terms of offensive impact. Soriano, Fontenot, Soto, and Theriot were all below 90, which makes them all well below the average MLB hitter in terms of overall offensive impact.
How can this be? Didn't Soriano hit 20 homers? Didn't The Riot hit nearly .300? Well sure, but when you take into consideration Theriot's lack of power and Soriano's horrendous plate discipline...let's just admit that even though it appeared Bradley sucked, particularly with men on base, that strictly speaking, he was actually one of our better hitters last year. Well, actually, he did suck. But Soto, Soriano, Fontenot, and Theriot sucked worse.
Certainly I am not advocating keeping Bradley around, and I am willing to concede that his malingering ass made the Cubs Clubhouse a miserable place to be this year, which is bound to affect play somewhat. But if we do not upgrade the offense in at least three of the spots, at LEAST three (because I do not believe that DLee can match his 2009 next year), then we are doomed once again to finish 13th in a 16 team league in offense.
Pray. Go pray hard that Soto grows a brain and a hear, Soriano grows a knee ligament, and Fukudome's wife builds him a big shiny spreadsheet that shows he would come out way ahead if he played 2010 in Japan.