Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Reader Blog: Offseason Time - Harry Caray Style

Well 2009 went about as bad as anyone might have guessed, with injuries and pitiful play crippling the team to a record barely above .500.  Changes are around the corner, but nothing major seems imminent as Hendry has virtually tied his own hands, in terms of improving this roster.  The cubs again enter another baseball season with a roster full of players of which they have no idea what kind of production they can expect from many or whether they could obtain anything of value in trade either.  The Cubs are in a major state of flux right now without question, so I'll dust up a few issues they must combat this offseason.

-So MB is sure to be dumped somewhere, but how much will the Cubs be paying him to play somewhere else&what POS can they expect in return?

-Then what to do with the team's glut of 4A players; like Hoff, Fox, Marshall, Font,&Fuld?

-What free agents could fit into this roster/payroll&produce?  The answer; not many.

-2010 doesn't sound too many alarms in terms of pitching.  Marmol working as the closer will be much easier to stomach than Gregg, and Guzman along w Grabow, presumably, should provide a sturdy bridge to the 9th.  The starters are a strength, but this group comes with its own question marks as well.  Lilly's health, a Dempster rebound, what to expect from Wells/Gorz, and Z's erratic behavior and performance are all concerns.

***The biggest issue, in my opinion, is what does the team do to address their issues in the middle of the diamond --> 2B, SS,&CF?  The team currently has very little presence at these positions, along with virtually no defense.  Few teams are afforded much success without a strong presence in the middle of the diamond, so improving these areas must become priority numero uno.  Starlin Castro is an intriguing option, but any time I hear the words "prospect" and "Cubs" in the same sentence it makes me cringe a little.

and welcome back Harry

It's been nice seeing you contributing to the blog again, sir. Hopefully this off season will be as dramatic and will cause as many arguments among the two of us as last year!

Thanks Kurt

Its good to get a welcome back, and I look forward to exchanging some unique ideas with everyone over the offseason concerning the Cubs direction for 2010. As always it should be interesting if nothing else.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award