If you are a fan of baseball, you have to be interested and enamored with the moves the Chicago Cubs have made to strengthen their team this winter. And if you are a Cubs FAN, you have to be simply ecstatic. With the Impending signing of Jason Heyward, who was coveted and designated as a “must sign” by the St. Louis Cardinals, a dramatic shift in the balance of power in the NL Central is now taking hold. But actually, we need to look backward before we move forward as the revitalization of the Cubs began long before this though….￼
Team Building…….first you bring in a General Manager who has a proven track record of doing so. Enter Theo Epstein (Red Sox – yeah him). Next, the GM hires the best manager in baseball. Enter Joe Maddon who guides the Cubs to a 97 game win season. Still, there are holes to fill……
See a hole, fill a hole. It’s not rocket science. But in order to execute a plan, you need to have a plan. The Cubbies have one. We saw it first with the “take away” from the Mets in the signing of Ben Zobrist, a professional hitter with some pop who can play virtually anywhere in the field, plus he is a dynamic clubhouse presence with playoffs experience.
Now, you need a dependable starter (who doesn’t). Enter John Lackey who is not a big name – but he has been blessed with good health and will give you innings. Most important, he will not hurt you. He will not have a start in September when he gives up seven runs in the first two innings challenging a potent offense (more on that soon) to have to overcome his poor performance.
And do not for a second overlook the addition of Adam Warren who came over from the Yankees in the Sterling Castro deal. He was a proven starter as well as a reliable source in the bullpen for the Yankees who jerked him around back and forth….but he hung in there…..as a teammate should. Maddox will figure that one out quickly….
So, with the addition of a much Underrated Jason Heyward, the Cubs now have a dynamic lineup to roll out on a everyday basis as they battle to dethrone the Cardinals and move forward and beyond a Division Title.
However, the beauty of baseball is that you still have to play 162 games on the field. Teams on paper may be entertaining for Fantasy Leagues (ask the Washington Nationals)……but it sure looks like the Cubs have their act together at this stage of the 2016 season……