10. Nick Swisher - OF - on the surface there is a lot to like about Swisher - he's only 31, hits from the left side, has hit 20 or more homers in 8 straight seasons and 80 or more RBIs in 4 straight seasons - the downside is he is going to command some serious coin on the open market and he's a corner OF so DeJesus would have to kick to center, and who knows what kind of player he will be in 2016 when the Cubs are projected to be serious contenders
9. Mike Napoli - C - like Swisher, there is a lot to like here - but I consider Napoli an American League player; he only caught 72 games last year and he's never driven in more than 75 runs in a season - and he could score major money off his huge 2011 season
8. Anibal Sanchez - Starting Pitcher - I actually like Sanchez at 3 years / 30 million, but he's looking for double those years and triple that money - even though he's young (28) and the Cub's need starting pitching, that's still way too much for a guy who's only won over 10 games once, has never pitched over 200 innings in a season, and who has a career WHIP over 1.30
7. B.J. Upton - OF - the Cubs need a CF and Upton plays a great CF and is still young at 28, but his OBP last year was .298 and he has had 4 straight years with an OBP below .350 - that's not a guy I want to give big money to and not a guy I want to build my OF around
6. Kyle Lohse - Starting Pitcher - the right hander has put together back to back solid seasons for the Cardinals, but he is 34 and declined the Cards 13.3 million qualifying offer - he is going to want more years and more money than the Cubs are in position to pay
5. Angel Pagan - OF - the Center Fielder actually began his career with the Cubs and spent two seasons as a part timer player - having never been given the chance to be an everyday player with the Cubs, he was traded to the Mets where his career blossomed. The question is - could Dave Sappelt or Bryan LaHair be this year's Angel Pagan, a guy we don't give a chance to, but reconsider in free agency five years down the line when he's established himself with another team. The Cubs really need to let things play out in 2013 with Sappelt and LaHair.
4. A.J. Pierzynski - C - a great player and he has ties to the city, having recently played with the White Sox - but he's 35 - and like Sappelt and LaHair, the Cub's really need to take 2013 and see what they have with current Catcher Welington Castillo
3. Jeremy Guthrie - Starting Pitcher - the 33 year old right hander is seeking 3 years and 34 million, but he's not worth anywhere close to that - in 2012 he had a 4.76 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP, I would struggle with a 1 year 6 million dollar deal with this guy
2. Kevin Youkilis - 3B - other than starting pitching, 3B is the biggest question mark for the Cubs going into 2013. Is Ian Stewart going to be healthy? And is he even that good of a player? Will Josh Vitters develop into a major league player? Youkisis on a one year deal would be a great fit for the Cubs, but he is going to probably get a 3 year deal and though it seems slight, there is still a chance that Stewart and / or Vitters turn out to be solid players at the major league level. As with OF and C - the Cubs need to use 2013 to see how things play out at 3B.
1. Josh Hamilton - OF - the Cubs needed a 1B during free agency last year and they chose not to go after Prince Fielder. This looks to have been a wise decision as Anthony Rizzo had a great season and tons of potential. I think the Cubs should save the big contract for when they are on the cusp of contending. Hopefully everybody learned their lesson with the Alfonso Soriano contract.