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What if?


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#1 Bails17

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:23 AM

As a Cubs fan for many years...I find myself using "what if" more and more as the years go one. What if Mark Prior would have stayed healthy? What if Bartman would not have interfered with Alou? There way too many "what ifs" to look back on and ponder. However the upcoming 2012 season is filled with so many different "what ifs" that I find it hard not talking or thinking about it. Obsession? Your damn right! So here is my "what if" for 2012.

I am going to keep it sort of real here and not go way overboard on every available free agent out there. Here goes my best shot!

What it we somehow part ways with Soriano?
What if we sign CJ Wilson?
What if we sign Prince Fielder?
What if we found a good deal for Marlon Byrd and signed Michael Cuddyer?
What if both Wood and Ramirez return?

Here is what I would want that to look like:

Castro SS
Jackson CF
Ramirez 3B
Fielder 1B
Cuddyer RF
LaHair LF
Soto C
LeMahieu 2B
Pitcher

Bench:

Colvin
Campana
Barney
Baker/Dewitt
Castillo

Starting Pitching:

Garza
WIlson
Dempster
Wells
Cashner

Important Pen Pieces:

Marshall
Wood
Marmol

Now I know it is a bit of a stretch for LaHair to be considered an everyday left fielder. But can he be worse than Soriano? And I am not a huge Ramirez fan...but if we could get those pieces to fall in place I would want him back. Any way....this is my "what if" wish list for 2012. What's yours?

#2 Brett

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:18 PM

Good thoughts. Of course, the sad thing is, even the hopeful "what if" scenario you've laid out is only good enough to give the Cubs a "good" team that "could" be competitive in the Central next year. It certainly doesn't look like a team that could do much damage in the playoffs.

That's no criticism of you. It's just a reflection of the sad state of things right now.

I think that's about the best roster the Cubs could hope to have next year, though I'm sure there will be some trades here and there that no one sees coming.

#3 EQ76

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:21 PM

what if Ozzy and Jeff Gordon sang the 7th inning stretch as a duet?

#4 EQ76

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:22 PM

Good thoughts. Of course, the sad thing is, even the hopeful "what if" scenario you've laid out is only good enough to give the Cubs a "good" team that "could" be competitive in the Central next year. It certainly doesn't look like a team that could do much damage in the playoffs.

That's no criticism of you. It's just a reflection of the sad state of things right now.

I think that's about the best roster the Cubs could hope to have next year, though I'm sure there will be some trades here and there that no one sees coming.

I have no doubt there will be some trades no one sees coming.. that's why it's so hard to figure out if this team will be good or not next year.. the new GM could pull off some interesting moves that none of us see coming..

#5 Bails17

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:48 PM

Good thoughts. Of course, the sad thing is, even the hopeful "what if" scenario you've laid out is only good enough to give the Cubs a "good" team that "could" be competitive in the Central next year. It certainly doesn't look like a team that could do much damage in the playoffs.

That's no criticism of you. It's just a reflection of the sad state of things right now.

I think that's about the best roster the Cubs could hope to have next year, though I'm sure there will be some trades here and there that no one sees coming.


Well Brett...I don't know. This could be a good enough line up to get us in position to make a move at the deadline and have a good chance. I do think that the 5 starters in that scenario has a real good chance to be as good as any in the NL Central next year if they stay healthy.

#6 T C

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 09:16 PM

From an analytical perspective, say Fielder provides 3 WAR over Pena, LaHair 2 WAR over Soriano, Cuddyer 3 WAR over Colvin, and Wilson/Cashner 5 wins over Z/5th starters this year (all really optimistic, but realistic and probably the only positions that improve). That takes this team from the 70 game wins this year to 83 next year, and then maybe an extra win or so from GoodSoto and another from an improved Castro, and youve got a team that can contend for the division. But in all reality, the Cardinals will be a much better team next year with Wainwright back, so it'll be tough to win the division.

And say that team makes the playoffs. Like Ace, er, Brett said, that team doesnt have much bite in the playoffs. I'll give you that the playoffs are mostly a crapshoot, but your lineup still doesnt inspire hope in me. (and, importantly, you have the worse defense in the history of major league baseball, which wont be much help in the playoffs....Alex Gonzalez.....)

And then what? Does your lineup really look competitive after next year? I would say not. Signing Fielder and Wilson will cost $45 mil/year, easy, which leaves you very little room to go buy a 3B when A-Ram leaves. Cuddyer is old, and likely in decline. You'll have him locked in for three years, and Colvin will never be given an opportunity to develop, and you'll be stuck with two league average or worse RFers. Dempster will be old/gone. Wilson will be getting older. Soto will be getting older. And you still have no money to fill these holes. So what youre left with is exactly what you saw this year: A team that will be forced to cheaply fill glaring holes, that has no room to play up-and coming prospects, and is stuck in the never-ending vicious cycle of mediocrity.

#7 EQ76

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:28 AM

There's so many ways to look at this team next year.. and really none of us know.. many on here think we'll be bad again based on our logical assumptions. truth is, a couple trades and a FA signing can go a long way.. there are so many things this team can do to drastically improve, but most of all a new attitude and confidence can help..

Our first year with Dusty we went from suck, to playoffs... same thing when we brought in Lou.. granted, we brought in some players to help, but still... the attitude change can really help.

A new GM, new manager, and a couple of smart moves and I see no reason why this team can't compete.. especially if the Brewers lose Prince.

We don't know who could step up and produce for us next year... Castro and Barney sort of came out of no where and immediately contributed the past couple of years, who's to say it can't happen again?

I personally wouldn't be surprised by anything next year.. last place or win the division, either could happen.

#8 Brett

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 12:16 PM


Good thoughts. Of course, the sad thing is, even the hopeful "what if" scenario you've laid out is only good enough to give the Cubs a "good" team that "could" be competitive in the Central next year. It certainly doesn't look like a team that could do much damage in the playoffs.

That's no criticism of you. It's just a reflection of the sad state of things right now.

I think that's about the best roster the Cubs could hope to have next year, though I'm sure there will be some trades here and there that no one sees coming.


Well Brett...I don't know. This could be a good enough line up to get us in position to make a move at the deadline and have a good chance. I do think that the 5 starters in that scenario has a real good chance to be as good as any in the NL Central next year if they stay healthy.

I'm probably once bitten, twice shy on the rotation - many of us said the same thing of the Garza/Dempster/Zambrano/Wells/Cashner rotation on paper before the season. And it was fair to say so, at the time.

#9 MichiganGoat

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 12:34 PM


Yup, in many ways we have more questions right now than we did at the same time last year. Even if we sign Wilson (and I don't think we can) our rotation will still be a huge question.

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#10 willis

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 12:44 PM

Yup, in many ways we have more questions right now than we did at the same time last year. Even if we sign Wilson (and I don't think we can) our rotation will still be a huge question.


Going to have to watch the AFL real closely. Cashner showing he's healthy and can be counted on quiets that rotation question some. (optimism alert) Two marginals in Demp and Wells. A really good in Garza. And a can be really good in Cashner. Who's 5th then becomes huge. I doubt highly we make a hard run after Wilson, but we should. Anyway, if Cashner can prove healthy and stretch out, we have 4/5 spots looking at least ok. And that's not a bad place to start.

#11 MichiganGoat

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 12:52 PM


Yup, in many ways we have more questions right now than we did at the same time last year. Even if we sign Wilson (and I don't think we can) our rotation will still be a huge question.


Going to have to watch the AFL real closely. Cashner showing he's healthy and can be counted on quiets that rotation question some. (optimism alert) Two marginals in Demp and Wells. A really good in Garza. And a can be really good in Cashner. Who's 5th then becomes huge. I doubt highly we make a hard run after Wilson, but we should. Anyway, if Cashner can prove healthy and stretch out, we have 4/5 spots looking at least ok. And that's not a bad place to start.

Until Cashner can pitch more than 5 innings as a starter I just don't count on him, too many promising young pitchers have disappointed me over the years, especially one who had a non-specific season ending injury after five inni gs as a starter. I just can't be optimistic about the giant IF that is Cashner.

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#12 willis

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 02:16 PM


Yup, in many ways we have more questions right now than we did at the same time last year. Even if we sign Wilson (and I don't think we can) our rotation will still be a huge question.


Going to have to watch the AFL real closely. Cashner showing he's healthy and can be counted on quiets that rotation question some. (optimism alert) Two marginals in Demp and Wells. A really good in Garza. And a can be really good in Cashner. Who's 5th then becomes huge. I doubt highly we make a hard run after Wilson, but we should. Anyway, if Cashner can prove healthy and stretch out, we have 4/5 spots looking at least ok. And that's not a bad place to start.

Until Cashner can pitch more than 5 innings as a starter I just don't count on him, too many promising young pitchers have disappointed me over the years, especially one who had a non-specific season ending injury after five inni gs as a starter. I just can't be optimistic about the giant IF that is Cashner.


Oh it's a huge "if". I'm trying not to be optimistic because as you said, we have seen this before. But I guess if there is anything to hold onto or to give us hope that next year won't be as bad as this year, it starts out west once the season is over. And if that goes well, we have a right to think our rotation won't just be shitty mcshitpants.

#13 EQ76

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 02:20 PM

it's all a guessing game.. Wells could be really good next year or just so-so.. Cashner could be a great starter, or could fizzle out.. They were key to success this year and didn't pan out, they could be really good next year and make us much better..

#14 Baseballet

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 02:23 PM

From an analytical perspective, say Fielder provides 3 WAR over Pena, LaHair 2 WAR over Soriano, Cuddyer 3 WAR over Colvin, and Wilson/Cashner 5 wins over Z/5th starters this year (all really optimistic, but realistic and probably the only positions that improve). That takes this team from the 70 game wins this year to 83 next year, and then maybe an extra win or so from GoodSoto and another from an improved Castro, and youve got a team that can contend for the division. But in all reality, the Cardinals will be a much better team next year with Wainwright back, so it'll be tough to win the division.

And say that team makes the playoffs. Like Ace, er, Brett said, that team doesnt have much bite in the playoffs. I'll give you that the playoffs are mostly a crapshoot, but your lineup still doesnt inspire hope in me. (and, importantly, you have the worse defense in the history of major league baseball, which wont be much help in the playoffs....Alex Gonzalez.....)

And then what? Does your lineup really look competitive after next year? I would say not. Signing Fielder and Wilson will cost $45 mil/year, easy, which leaves you very little room to go buy a 3B when A-Ram leaves. Cuddyer is old, and likely in decline. You'll have him locked in for three years, and Colvin will never be given an opportunity to develop, and you'll be stuck with two league average or worse RFers. Dempster will be old/gone. Wilson will be getting older. Soto will be getting older. And you still have no money to fill these holes. So what youre left with is exactly what you saw this year: A team that will be forced to cheaply fill glaring holes, that has no room to play up-and coming prospects, and is stuck in the never-ending vicious cycle of mediocrity.


Well said, I couldn't agree more. The vicious cycle of mediocrity needs to stop. I hope Ricketts won't be like previous ownership and sign an emergency patchwork of past-their-prime free agents so that we can "compete".

We need to rebuild by developing our prospects and acquiring players on their way up instead of on their way down into the pit of boos. Let's use our money for that. Develop a core of young players first and add star free agents once that's in place, not the other way around. Buy low and sell high!
The good news is that Ricketts has me feeling optimistic for the first time in years. We think we love you Ricketts, let me count the ways: your hair is perfect; you built some sort of baseball garden of eden in the Dominican Republic; you've added the Shawonometer Jr; you signed the son of the Great One; and you have a crush on Theo Epstein. These are all great signs. Go Cubs!




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