There is a story in the Sun Times re: some possible targets for the offseason: link
This will obviously not be the last rumor type posts, but my question is simply, why?
I would categorize myself in the semi-optimistic category. But, in my estimation, the Cubs would need a frontline bat, frontline starter, and frontline middle reliever to have a reasonable hope for contention. Basically, they need to replace Lee, Lilly, and the 2008 Marmol.
Those would not be cheap additions and the Cubs seem to be moving toward a lower payroll, not a higher. Furthermore, there are not a ton of options for any of those slots on the FA market. Sure, one could dream of Cliff Lee, Dunn, and Wood all joining the Cubs for 2011, but that doesn't seem particularly likely.
So, if they are not bringing in those names, why go after a Nick Johnson or an anonymous starting pitcher. The Cubs do have depth and some young players who might develop. I am not saying the Cubs will be competitive in 11 with them, but see what they have to offer moving forward. If we are going to be a second division team, let's at least learn what we have along the way. If we bring in a Nick Johnson, we will know we are a second division team with an aging non-healthy 1B with doubles power and a high OBP, whoopee.