I'm enjoying the prospect watch as much as the next guy, it really is exciting to have a minor league system that looks primed to start feeding the big club solid prospects. Heck, there's already a young guy or 2 making a difference. All great stuff.
Starting in 2014 though, it's gonna be time to WIN at the major league level. I understand reaching the postseason in '14 isn't terribly realistic, but it damn sure is in 2015. And a winning season should be the goal next year, regardless of how difficult that goal may be to attain.
That's why I say you go out and get your ace this winter. The Cubs should get the guy they envision starting Game 1 of the playoffs. Why wait?
The man to go after is David Price. He has to be traded and he's one of the best in the game. Price is a lefty, will be just 28 this August, has postseason experience, and seems to be a very solid individual. All huge +'s. I'm sold that he's the very best option available to be the Cubs' #1.
A MLB team can go out and put together a lot of key pieces on the cheap. A good value veteran bat here. An injury prone arm you think is healed there. Cubs have done a nice job with this. Can't go cheap with a #1 pitcher though, not unless he comes up through your system. Price will be expensive. And he'll be worth it...for a team that's willing to put their money where their mouth is and go after a Championship.
So I know we all love the prospects, but some will have to go for this type of blockbuster trade. As many on this site have repeated, prospects are prospects, potential stars. Stars are stars. Sometimes you have to part with some prospects for a proven commodity.
I'd love to center a trade around Almora and Vogelbach plus a lower level guy or 2. We all know that V is likely destined for the AL. Almora is such a great young man, polished, wonderful defender, hits for average, etc. I say you sign Ellsbury and forget about needing a CF for a little while.
I'd also do Baez + Vogelbach and others. Baez' stock will never be higher. He's got a ton of potential. But he's still striking out a lot. His defense is just OK, and where does he play? 3B? Dealing Baez could really burn us, but Baez is also risky himself. I'll take the proven piece that I'm pretty damn sure will lead to a bunch of wins at the top of the rotation over a guy we all have high hopes for.
So you'd send out for 2014 the following rotation: Price Shark Wood Jackson (Baker/Arrieta/Grimm/Rusin/signee)
I think it would be a good start, and a signal that the Cubs are ready to WIN.