Ok, this is going to be my first post so feel free to tell me what you think.
1. RESIGN SAMARDZIJA
Now I personally would rather trade him in the offseason for the likes of Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs (obviously throw in a Vogelbach and someone else), but unfortunately, that's extremely unlikely. In that case, the best case scenario is to resign Samardzija. After all, he still has the potential to be a #2, (maybe even a #1 if he really improves).
2. SIGN TANAKA
I know, everybody's saying this one and there's a reason for that. He vastly improves our rotation in more than one way. In addition to hopefully becoming our #1/2, he takes a lot of pressure off Samardzija and will in turn afford the Cubs more breathing room.
3. TRADE FOR CARLOS GONZALEZ
Now with whispers that he'll be available and the Rockies not interested in the Mets' offer, it will be the perfect time for the Cubs to pounce. The Rockies have specified that they want young position players so I suggest that the Cubs offer them Almora, Olt, and another player or 2 outside of pitching, Bryant, Baez, and Soler (because of his contract).
At that point, your line-up receives an ENORMOUS boost:
4. DO NOT SIGN ROBINSON CANO
I REPEAT: DO NOT SIGN ROBINSON CANO.
He will cost us way too much and will impede us just like Soriano did (money-wise) after 2009 or so. Even if he sustains his current level of play, anything above a 6-year contract is too much of a risk at this point.
5. DO NOT SIGN CHOO/ELLSBURY
Choo will not be able to sustain his insane OBP and both are injury risks. However, if you do sign one, please let it be Choo. Ellsbury is simply too expensive at the moment.
6.DO NOT TRADE FOR STANTON/PRICE
THEY ARE WAY TOO EXPENSIVE.
Stanton would require at least 2 of big 4 along with top prospects. NOT WORTH IT.
Cargo is a much smarter acquisition.
Price would require at least Baez. NOT WORTH IT.
Tanaka + Samardzija + Wood + Ejax + 5th starter + Baez > Price + Samardzija + Wood + Ejax + 5th starter - Baez.
7. RESIGN ROLE PLAYERS
A. Navarro: Castillo is finally starting to emerge and Navarro is the perfect complement to him. Somebody like Mccann will take playing time from Castillo which is something we don't need at this point.
B. Sweeney/Bogs: Both have shown enough ability to qualify as good 4th outfielders who would platoon with Schierholtz.
C. Murphy: Not going to keep up his insane power, but could function in a serviceable platoon again with Valbuena.
8. KEEP RIZZO AND CASTRO
This topic has been run into the ground, through the core, and into China. I mean seriously, it is WAY too early to decided whether they actually suck so why trade them when their value is low?
9. LEAVE 2B AND 3B ALONE (NO MULTI-YEAR CONTRACTS)
There are simply too many prospects to fill those positions. So if we add another free agent to the mix, all that we accomplish is blocking players like Baez (mid-2014), Bryant (end-2014), Olt (hopefully out of spring training), Alcantara (probably end-2014). 1 year contracts are fine, but no more than 2 years.
10. SIGN A COUPLE BENCH PLAYERS
Just to fill in for injuries/pinch hit/pinch run when neccessary.
Well that is all that I can really think of off the top of my head...
Tell me what you guys think!