My attempts at prognostication are usually foolhardy. However, since this will not cost me money; (unless a kangaroo court exists on the site) here is what I think will happen for next season roster-wise.
Lee; DeRosa; Theriot; Ramirez; Soto; Soriano; Reed Johnson; Fukodome; Cedeno; Fontenot; Blanco; Pie; and THE HOLE.
Dempster; Zambrano; Harden; Lilly; Randy Johnson; Marshall; Gaudin; Guzman; Samardzija; Cotts; Gregg; and Marmol.
I still can't figure out how to fill THE HOLE.
Abreu/Huff/Ibanez/Teahen/Hermida/Dunn...let's face it-they all come with problems. Some are financial; some would need proper trade pieces; and all have defensive liabilities to play a tough right field. What did Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko say in "Wall Street"; "Pick the dog with the least fleas." Salary constraints probably won't allow it but I would pick Abreu.
I like the signing of the Big Unit because I believe he's a Type B free agent which only would give the Snakes a sandwich pick. Plus a one year deal would give the Cubs more flexibility in 2010.
Blanco could take a multi-year deal elsewhere.
Peavy comes to the Cubs as a complete giveaway; he states that he will only come here while the Moores divorce just gets uglier. Payroll still a problem.
Kerry Wood comes back to the Cubs. I agree with what some of you have written on other threads that this has a better than average chance of happening. No matter how much sweet talk he gets from Nolan Ryan I just feel in my gut that he wants to return. If it happens then I guess Gregg would fall to the Howry role. And one of the pitchers above would be out.
All of this would be so much easier if Pie and Fukodome played to potential. I keep wondering if they just let Pie play every day that he would finally come around and have a Jerome Walton 1989 season. Doesn't hurt to dream.
So there you have it. Flaming arrows are now being accepted. Loose!