Here's what I read about 2013 from a ton of Cub fans.
Summarized, it goes like this.
"The Cubs were absolutely terribly in 2013 because they deliberately chose to be terrible from the very beginning. They entered the season with the express purpose of losing as many games as possible to maximize their draft position, and to deal as many flippable assets as they could for future assets. At no point was winning in 2013 ever given any meaningful consideration. Therefore, this will also be the approach in 2014, and 2015, and probably 2016."
Here's what I remember.
The Cubs were a better bullpen away from being a .500 team in mid-summer. Their first half pythagorean W/L was substantially better than their record on the field, and the difference between the two was largely a Marmol-melted bullpen. Swap a league average bullpen onto the Cubs in April and May and the Cubs may well have been buyers, not sellers, in July, depending on how the rest of the division looked.
They still had major issues to resolve (that team OBP being high on the list), but their team SLG was quite good, the defense was solid, the starting pitching - until they traded off a chunk of the rotation - was easily good enough to compete, and all of this was despite some down years from some key players.
Am I the only one who remembers 2013 like that?