The Top 20 Free Agents the Cubs Should Pursue

20. Gerald Laird - C - the Cubs need a veteran presence behind Wellington Castillo and Laird would fit the bill - he has a ton of experience and has plenty of pop for a backup Catcher

19. Reed Johnson - OF - this would be the reserve Outfielder's third stint with the Cubs - he is an excellent role player that hit .311 against lefties last year and can play all three outfield spots

18. Chad Durbin - Relief Pitcher - the 34 year old right hander was 4-1 with a save and a 3.10 ERA for the Braves this past season

17. Kevin Correia - Starting Pitcher - the Pirate right hander was 12-11 with a 4.21 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP this past season in 171 innings

16. Dioner Navarro - C - 28 and experienced, he hit .290 last year, and is a switch hitter to boot - which makes him a nice bat off the bench and not just a typical backup catcher

15. Francisco Liriano - Starting Pitcher - once a front of the rotation type, injuries have really derailed his career - he was 6-12 with a 5.34 ERA last year, but is only 29 and struck out 167 in 156 innings

14. Miguel Olivo - C - once a long time starter in Seattle, he is primed to become a very good backup and definitely a guy that current starter Wellington Castillo could learn from

13. Shawn Camp - Relief Pitcher - the 36 year old right hander was the Cubs most reliable arm in the bullpen last year, and should be fairly cheap to bring back on a one year deal

12. Joe Saunders - Starting Pitcher - 9-13 with a 4.07 ERA and 1.34 WHIP aren't great, but he is only 31, is left handed, and an innings eater

11. J.P. Howell - Relief Pitcher - this lefty had a 3.04 ERA in 55 games for the Rays and is only 29 - which means he could be a long term fixture in the Cubs bullpen

10. Matt Lindstrom - Relief Pitcher - the 32 year old right hander had a 2.68 ERA in 46 games and would fit nicely in the back end of the Cubs bullpen

9. Jeff Keppinger - IF - the Cubs are in desperate need of a 3B and have several guys in the mix, but no clear leader - Keppinger is 32 and hit .325 with 9 HR and 40 RBI in a limited role for Tampa Bay last year - he would make a great platoon player or could be a fallback option as an everyday guy if everybody else fails

8. Brandon Lyon - Relief Pitcher - the 33 year old right hander was 4-2 with a save and a 3.10 ERA in 67 games for Toronto last year - and he has closer experience should Carlos Marmol be traded

7. Carlos Villanueva - Starting Pitcher - the 28 year old started and relieved for Toronto last year and had a 4.16 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 125 innings - he has a rubber arm and is pushing to be signed as a starter this offseason

6. Brett Myers - Relief Pitcher - the ex-White Sox player says he is open to starting or relieving and could help the Cubs either way - he is 32 and had 19 saves and a 3.31 ERA last year

5. Joe Blanton - Starting Pitcher - don't laugh - he had more wins and a lower WHIP than Anibal Sanchez last year in about the same number of innings - and he is only 31 and will come way cheaper than most of the other free agent starting pitchers

4. Ryan Dempster - Starting Pitcher - the long time ex-Cub was 12-8 with a 3.38 ERA last season and was a team leader here for years - he is 35 and would definitely be a perfect fit on a 2 year deal to be the #3 starter

3. Dan Haren - Starting Pitcher - the 32 year old right hander had some injury issues in 2012 but still finished 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 176 innings - he could be a great buy low guy for the Cubs to invest in

2. Brandon McCarthy - Starting Pitcher - he had a great year going before suffering a line drive to the head in early September, he missed the rest of the year and finished 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA in 111 innings - he is only 29 and could be a great long term addition to the starting rotation

1. Shaun Marcum - Starting Pitcher - he missed 2 months of the year with an elbow injury and finished the year 7-4 and a 3.70 ERA - he is 30, knows the division, and has had four straight years with an ERA under 4.00

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.

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