FanPost

2014 Cubs pre-free agency projected opening day 25-man roster.

I realize that General Manager Jed Hoyer is going to sign at least a few free agents and probably make at least one trade this off-season, yet this is my projection of the Cubs opening day 25-man roster when considering only players who are currently under team control.

Starting pitchers Travis Wood, Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson, Jake Arrieta and Carlos Villanueva.

Relief pitchers Pedro Strop, James Russell, Blake Parker, Brooks Raley, Chang-Yong Lim, Chris Rusin and Alberto Cabrera.

Catchers Welington Castillo and Rafael Lopez.

Infielders Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Luis Valbuena, Donnie Murphy, Logan Watkins and Mike Olt.

Outfielders Junior Lake, Ryan Sweeney, Nate Schierholtz, Brian Bogusevic and Josh Vitters.

The most obvious omission is Darwin Barney, who is way too limited offensively despite his gold glove caliber defense. I compare him to a great blocking tight end in the NFL who is very limited as a receiver. The Cubs need more offense than he can provide. Cabrera makes it over Justin Grimm only because Grimm has minor league options remaining. Castillo is the only catcher on the 40-man roster, so I chose Lopez as the backup because his offensive numbers are clearly better than any of the other candidates, either at Iowa or Tennessee.

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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