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Outside the Cubs Boxcar plays chicken, part 7

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The spine-tingling climax of the alpha portion of our narrative

Chickens On Display At The 2016 Poultry Show
Feathering the nest
Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

The signing of Tyler Chatwood has ejected Jake Arrieta from our list of considerations. That means that the starting rotation (in this simulation) consists of:

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

With Trevor Cahill and Mike Montgomery available in case of injury/ineffectiveness. There’s nothing wrong with that picture. I had passed on Chatwood because of his walk rate but perhaps that can be fixed.

That said, let’s move on to the Free Agent Tracker and the rest of the alphabet. We could still use a bullpen arm or two and spare parts here and there. We already dipped into the ‘S’ category and signed Hector Sanchez. On the pitching front, I don’t want any part of Fernando Salas; Bryan Shaw walks too many people for my liking; Kevin Siegrist has regressed; Joe Smith is a vague possibility but I’d like to get younger; Drew Storen and Huston Street have outlived their usefulness; Anthony Swarzak walks a lot of batters; Chris Tillman is maybe worth a flyer but 2017 wasn’t good to him.

So we’re back to our group of Pat Neshek, Juan Nicasio, Martin Perez (L), Ian Krol (L), Jake McGee, and Brandon Morrow, to fill out the relief corps, which, at present, consists of:

  1. Trevor Cahill
  2. Mike Montgomery (L)
  3. Addison Reed
  4. Justin Grimm
  5. Rob Zastryzny (L)
  6. Dillon Maples
  7. Dario Alvarez (L)
  8. Pedro Strop
  9. Justin Wilson (L)
  10. Carl Edwards Jr
  11. Wade Davis

To my way of thinking, Reed cancels out the other right-handers. This means the battle is between Perez and Krol. Ian Krol is more used to relief pitching and that gives him the winning ticket. He’d contend with Rob Z., Alvarez, and Wilson for one of two LH spots, and fill out the 40-man, with the loser of the Tommy La Stella/Alexi Amarista tussle going to Triple A.

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

Also in camp:

  1. Alexi Amarista (minor-league deal)
  2. Arismendy Alcantara (minor-league deal)
  3. Eddie Butler
  4. Alec Mills
  5. Cory Mazzoni
  6. Jen-Ho Tseng
  7. Randy Rosario (L)

I’d like to invite Danny Santana to spring training. And that’s all I can see that would be useful. The Cubs may have other ideas. Barring any unforeseen developments, the final installment in this series will come Monday and count up the money spent, look at the depth chart and who is on what option, and sum up.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to discuss in a civil fashion.