With the rotation packed and the starting lineup set, the Chicago Cubs have little to do in the way of tinkering with their roster before Opening Day – but tinker they still might.

The Cubs will probably go with 12 pitchers, as has been their norm now for a few years, which leaves five spots on the bench: Jeff Baker, Kosuke Fukudome/Tyler Colvin, Koyie Hill/Welington Castillo, and another infielder and outfielder. If the season started today, the infielder spot would probably go to Darwin Barney and the outfielder spot would go to one of Fernando Perez or Reed Johnson.


Barney showed last year that he can be an effective 25th man, backing up every infield position other than 1st base. But if a solid veteran slips through the cracks – such as Orlando Cabrera, as suggested by Bruce Levine – the Cubs may have to pull the trigger. Cabrera, 36, became a free agent when the Reds declined his $4 million option for 2011 after a modest .263/.303./354 2010 campaign. Still, he plays solid defense, is versatile, and can string together enough offense to make some team’s 25-man roster.

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