This is potentially what the Cubs line up could look like in 2013. Now as always this won't be what we will probably actually look like because of FA, trades, and prospects not panning out. This is just my take and of coarse you can argue your take since there are numerous players who are interchangable. I think by 2013 we could be in a position to be a contender. By this time Castro, BJax, McNutt, Archer, Cashner, J.Jackson, and Carpenter should all have some ML expierence.
C. Robinson Chirinos (R)
1B. Geovanny Soto (R) - Will get an occasional start behind the plate.
2B. Hak-Ju Lee (L) - Should be ready by mid-season.
3B. Josh Vitters (R) - Potentially a solid starter posting 270-280 15+ HR
SS. Starlin Castro (R) - Should be coming into his own as an A.S.
RF. Tyler Colvin (L) - For lack of a better option that I can see at this point. Guyer or Lake may be possibilities.
CF. Brett Jackson (L) - Should have about 700-800 ML ABs by opening day and ready to be a solid contributer.
LF. Alfonso Soriano (R) - Will be in last year of contract and probably not real productive. Maybe on the bench in favor of Guyer or Lake.
C. Wellington Castillo (R)
IF. Darwin Barney (R)
2B/3B/1B. Blake DeWitt (L)
OF. Brandon Guyer (R)
IF/OF. Junior Lake (R)
R. Ryan Dempster - Will be on the downside of his career.
R. Trey McNutt - I think he could be coming into his own as 1 of the best young Sp in the game.
R. Chris Archer - Not sure he'll stick as a SP.
R. Chris Carpenter - Back end starter should eat innings and post around a 4 era.
L. Sean Marshall - Return to the rotation for our lefty arm.
CL. Carlos Marmol
Set-Up. Andrew Cashner/Rafael Dolis - Power Arms w/ high 90s FB and nasty breaking pitches will play up in short stints.
Long Man. Jay Jackson - Spot starter and middle releiver.
Lefty. Chris Rusin - Could be a nice lefty specialist ala Sean Marshall.
Lefty. Brooks Raley
Player in our system who maybe ready to contribute in 2013:
RHP. Hayden Simpson
IF. D.J. LeMahieu
OF. Jae-Hoon Ha
1. 2B Lee
2. SS Castro
3. CF B. Jackson
4. 1B. Soto
5. 3B. Vitters
6. RF. Colvin
7. LF. Soriano
8. C Chirinos
This could be a solid group with Castro as the star and if Vitters, BJax, and Lee ready to be just solid players and Geo still hitting the line up has potential to be solid. The SP should be deep with some shuffling of starters and relievers.
Even if Vitters, BJax, Lee, McNutt, Archer, and others are just solid players combined with Castro this is a real solid talent base. Now coming into 2013 the Cubs could be in an enviable postition. With the contracts of Soriano and Dempster coming off the books at the end of '13 and the only other long term contracts belonging to Soto and Marmol and the rest of the team cost controled we would have a real flexiable roster. This is why I advocate staying away from guys like Dunn this year and next year in free agency. Coming into 2013 depending on the FA landscape we would have the payroll to add a big name bat/SP or both. Also depending on the state of the farm system the potential to make a deadline deal that could be the piece we need to put us over the top.
Of coarse not everyone is gonna pan out and other changes will be made but this is just me dreaming away. Let me know your thoughts as I'm sure the community will see players in different roles because this is just speculation.