The rebuilding, which I am waiting for must dovetail off of starting pitching. Zambrano is the key in that he will be in his 3rd arbitration year next year, his clock began in 2002.
Afterward there are decisions, Prior (the unexpectant injury prone pitcher), a decision must be made.
Then the Cubs have developed two promising rookies this year, Marshall & Marmol. What is their ceiling? Will they improve?
So everything being equal who will occupy the 5th spot? Willis (trade) Zito (FA)? of what. Wood is done, whether he will ever reclaim his career as a reliever is uncertain.
Let's face it the Cubs need a corner OF'er who is a thumper, Ramirez of BoSox, Cabrera of Florida, Lee of Milwaukee? And they need a CF'er who will have an OBP that is over .340.
Finally they need a 2B or SS who can glove and be at the top of the order with a .340 OBP. Cedeno is okay if he bats 8th but they need offense from the other spot and not a station to station guy either. As for Ramirez at 3B he is just having a bad year lunging at bad pitches and letting good ones pass.
How will the Cubs get this done?
My thoughts are:
Trade or mortgage Murton, Pie, Dopirak, Patterson, Guzman, Aardsma, Hill and Moore for Cabrera and Willis.
Then FA sign Lugo and you got a remade team. Play Pagan or resign Pierre and platoon them if need be.