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Well, I’m finishing up my prep and heading to my colonoscopy this morning. I will have limited ability to post for the rest of the morning, so, to the extent any big news or rumors break, please let folks know in the comments, and I’ll be sure to write anything up once I’m back to lucidity.

  • Baseball Prospectus came out with its first PECOTA projections of the offseason (basically they use super-advanced math to project stats for each player on a team’s roster, and then project how the team will perform in the upcoming season – it’s all premium content stuff, so if you the juicy bits, you’ll have to get a BP subscription). Overall, the projection has the Cubs with a .460 winning percentage, which is about 74.5 wins. That sounds about right, and might even be … encouraging.
  • For the individual players, most of the numbers look about as you’d suspect. PECOTA sees a big bounce-back for Carlos Marmol and Geovany Soto, but sees a pretty significant regression in store for Matt Garza. Indeed, PECOTA doesn’t really like many of the Cubs’ pitchers, projecting bad years for Travis Wood and Randy Wells, and awful years for Chris Volstad and Jeff Samardzija. Oddly, at this point, I see the Cubs’ pitching staff as a strength.
  • Keith Law ranked MLB’s farm systems (another premium article, so, once again, you want all the good stuff, you gotta pay) and the Cubs came in at number 20. Obviously that seems a tad low, but Law explains: “An unfairly maligned system, in my opinion – not a great system, but not a disastrous one. And I say that as someone who’s relatively bearish on some of the Cubs’ more famous prospects.” The theme this year for the minor league system remains: with so much high upside talent at the low levels, the Cubs’ system could really break out. Or, it could continue to hover around “aspirational.”
  • Law isn’t alone, by the way – John Sickels, who likes the Cubs’ system for what it is, also ranked it 20th in baseball.
  • New Cub Adrian Cardenas, in addition to playing ball, is also a writer, studying his craft at NYU. He sounds like a smart, very hard working dude. The Cubs are making a habit of adding guys who are very easy to root for. (h/t CSN)
  • Fluff on new Cubs manager Dale Sveum. In short, Sveum works very hard, and he expects his players to do the same.
  • Bryce F

    So it seemed to me that Theo has done a good job evaluating our minor league system and adding too it. How well do you think this team could compete in about 3 years if the talent is what we hope it is:

    1b – Rizzo
    2b – Barney/Cardenas/ Torrebla
    ss – Castr0
    3b – Baez/Vitters
    C – Castillo/Clevenger
    RF – Lake/Vitters
    CF – Szcuzer
    LF – Jackson

    SP – Garza(or top pitcher in trade), T. Wood, McNutt, Dolin and Szmardsa
    RP – Carpenter, Coleman, Wells, Dolis, Maine, Believu and Russell

    Lacking power in the lineup, but I like what this could look like. No big money players but Castro in the next three years. YES, i am a homer on this one, but I think the future has some bright sports to it.

  • die hard

    Will Theo tell Sveum who to play like BB did to Howe in Moneyball?

  • Rusty O

    i like the way that you put that, not much power but it still looks manageable. i think that a lot of today’s baseball is focused so much upon how many power hitters a team can have. but a lot of times, its about getting on base, and playing small ball. finding other ways to win. i like the way that the team might look. that is, if all goes as planned.

  • curt

    sorry im so late on the draw brett working late but im glad yr test went ok, a real trooper getting right back at it, in yr honest opinion where does cespedes end up , yr opinion not any pundits theit so wrong most of the time yr better at predicting than most.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, curt. If I had to bet right now, I’d bet on the Marlins. But I still think it’s probably like 40% Marlins, 35% Cubs, 25% somewhere else.

  • curt

    do you think its about what its always about the “money” or about location.

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