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Outside the Cubs Boxcar plays chicken, part 3

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Going through free agency with a fine-tooth comb.

Chickens On Display At The 2016 Poultry Show
I, eye, aye
Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

Welcome to part three of our tri-weekly feature. Part one is here, and part two is here. Today we’re going to look at alpha D-F, and see what, if any, adjustments we need to make to our roster. Remember that Arismendy Alcantara and Alexi Amarista have only been extended minor-league invites at this point, so there’s a little flexibility. Here’s the Free Agent Tracker.

The current roster, based on previous editions of Outside the Cubs Boxcar:

  1. Arismendy Alcantara
  2. Albert Almora, Jr.
  3. Alexi Amarista
  4. Jake Arrieta
  5. Javier Baez
  6. Kris Bryant
  7. Eddie Butler
  8. Trevor Cahill
  9. Matt Carasiti
  10. Victor Caratini
  11. Alex Cobb
  12. Willson Contreras
  13. Taylor Davis
  14. Carl Edwards, Jr.
  15. Luke Farrell
  16. Justin Grimm
  17. Jacob Hanneman
  18. Ian Happ
  19. Kyle Hendricks
  20. Jason Heyward
  21. Tommy La Stella
  22. Jon Lester
  23. Dillon Maples
  24. Cory Mazzoni
  25. Alec Mills
  26. Mike Montgomery
  27. Jose Quintana
  28. Anthony Rizzo
  29. Randy Rosario
  30. Hector Rondon
  31. Addison Russell
  32. Kyle Schwarber
  33. Pedro Strop
  34. Jen-Ho Tseng
  35. Duane Underwood, Jr.
  36. Mark Zagunis
  37. Rob Zastryzny
  38. Ben Zobrist

The starting rotation as of now:

  1. Jon Lester (L)
  2. Kyle Hendricks
  3. Jose Quintana (L)
  4. Jake Arrieta
  5. Alex Cobb

The relief corps:

  1. Trevor Cahill
  2. Matt Carasiti
  3. Carl Edwards Jr.
  4. Dillon Maples
  5. Mike Montgomery (L)
  6. Pedro Strop
  7. Duane Underwood Jr.
  8. Rob Zastryzny (L)

We’ll look at the positional depth chart in a bit. For now, let’s identify some people that we might like that have on our team.

Yu Darvish and Wade Davis jump out immediately. Since our roster includes Jake Arrieta, I’m not going to opt for Darvish. I do want Davis though. Let’s say he signs for an even $15 million for each of the next four years. That’s more than I’d like to pay, and about two years longer than I’d like, but I suspect that’s what it’s going to take. We’ll have to work out the money at some point, but not right now.

As always, this is dependent upon reality. Should Davis sign elsewhere, we’ll adjust for that. For now, it’s gonna knock Duane Underwood back to Triple-A, and leave the 40-man roster at 39.

Brian Duensing is going to get more money than I’d like to spend, and more years, I think. Likewise Zach Duke, who is also getting on in years. Jarrod Dyson is interesting -- he’s older, but his skillset is still useful. I’m tempted but I’ll hold off for now. Doug Fister has played himself into more money than I want to spend for him, and I want a younger man, if possible. Scott Feldman likewise.

So Davis is the only add here.

Here’s the current infield, according to both the depth chart and our additions:

1B

  1. Anthony Rizzo
  2. Kris Bryant

2B

  1. Javier Baez
  2. Ben Zobrist
  3. Ian Happ
  4. Tommy La Stella
  5. Alexi Amarista
  6. Arismendy Alcantara

SS

  1. Addison Russell
  2. Javier Baez
  3. Alexi Amarista

3B

  1. Kris Bryant
  2. Tommy La Stella
  3. Ian Happ

C

  1. Willson Contreras
  2. Victor Caratini
  3. Taylor Davis

Zobrist, Happ, and Alcantara are all capable of playing in the outfield as well, but there’s a logjam at second. Not necessarily a bad thing at this juncture. Next time, we’ll look at letters G-K and the outfield depth chart.

Thanks for reading.