The Cubs' 4 Free Agents: Should They Return For 2014?

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Of the players who finished the 2013 season with the Cubs, four are free agents. Which, if any, should they bring back?

This will be a quick and easy quiz, although it has no "right" answers. Four players who ended the year with the Cubs are eligible for free agency. Here are a few facts about each; you decide whether you think the Cubs should bring them back or not.

Dioner Navarro

Navarro had his best major-league season -- by a lot. Hitting .300/.365/.492 in 240 at-bats, he posted a 132 OPS+ and hit 13 home runs. 13 catchers hit more, but all of them had more at-bats (some almost twice as many). It's the perfect kind of season to have in a walk year; Navarro was a three-year starter for Tampa Bay and appeared for the Rays in the 2008 World Series. He turns 30 next February; some team might want him as a starter, which would probably make him too expensive for the Cubs to keep.

On the other hand, he appears to like Chicago and working with Welington Castillo. The Cubs might be able to keep him with a two-year offer to "back up" Castillo, which in reality means they'd almost share the job, as they did in 2013. Maybe Castillo could work out at first base to back up Anthony Rizzo.

And, he's a tough SOB -- as you might recall from that collision with the Phillies' Chase Utley (pictured), after which he was taken off on a cart. At the time, it looked like Navarro's season was over. He was back playing -- productively, too -- in just three days.

Kevin Gregg

Gregg through July 13: 33 games, 32⅓ innings, 1.95 ERA, 1.082 WHIP, 17 saves, two blown saves, 2-1 W-L record.

Gregg after July 13: 29 games, 29⅔ innings, 5.16 ERA, 1.348 WHIP, 16 saves, three blown saves, 0-5 W-L record.

It's really too bad Theo & Co. couldn't get even a minor prospect for Gregg at the deadline. He was fantastic in the first half, awful in the second half. He's 35 and not likely to ever be as good as he was in 2013's first half.

Matt Guerrier

Most people here didn't think the Cubs could get anything more than a bag of used baseballs for Carlos Marmol, so getting Guerrier was a bonus. He was pretty good in 15 middle-relief appearances before he was injured; he had what was termed a "strained flexor mass" in his right elbow. He didn't have surgery; if he had, he'd likely have missed all of 2014. Guerrier is also 35, but as he's not expected to be a closer, he could be worth retaining for the back end of the bullpen.

Scott Baker

Baker threw very, very well in the three starts he made after he finally came back from Tommy John surgery, which kept him out of major-league action for more than two full years. If he feels any loyalty to Theo & Co. for paying him $5.5 million for, essentially, rehabbing, he might be willing to sign an incentive-laden contract for 2014 (say, a base of $2 million and $1.5 million for each of 10, 20 and 30 starts, which would make it a $6.5 million deal if he makes 30 or more starts). He's 32, so he still might have some productive seasons left.

For me, if I could sign Baker to that kind of deal, I'd do it. I'd also bring back Navarro -- if the Cubs don't, they will have a serious downgrade at backup catcher -- and Guerrier, if he's healthy.

The poll structure here allows you to vote for only one choice. If I had to pick just one, I think I'd go with Navarro. Make your selection and weigh in, in the comments.

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