Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Cubs 2014

While the physical plant of Wrigley Field is planned to be spruced up for it's 100th anniversary, there's going to be major changes on the field by that time as well. Those changes on the field are likely going to have to pay for the cost of fixing Wrigley (and paying down debt). How do you do that? Bruce Miles has some insights:

(Outfielder Tyler Colvin, followed by third baseman Josh Vitters, right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner and center fielder Brett Jackson are) all No. 1 draft picks of the Cubs - the four most recent No. 1 picks - and they're all at big-league spring training in Mesa, Ariz.

It's believed to be the first time the Cubs have had four consecutive No. 1 picks in big-league spring training at the same time.

"It says a lot about the confidence in our scouting director, Tim Wilken, our international director, Paul Weaver, and the confidence Jim (GM Hendry) has instilled in all of us as well as (manager) Lou Piniella, to invite them all to camp and give them an opportunity," said Cubs farm director Oneri Fleita. "You know what's fun about watching them when they're young? You can watch them grow daily and weekly and monthly."
Yeah, we'ev heard this story before, right? Andy Sisco, Bobbie Brownlie, Felix Pie, Bobby Hill. The list goes on of young "can't miss" prospects. Why is this group different?

Because, unless the Ricketts family commits personal cash to the team, the team can't afford to fill these positions with high-priced free agents anymore. Look at these players and you can see where the Cubs intend to slot them in.

Ted Lilly is a free agent after this year, and, with his current unknown health statuts, the likelihood of his returning in 2011 is pretty minimal. A good slot for Cashner, no? Tyler Colvin seems slotted to replace either Kosuke Fukudome (expiration date of 2011) or Alfonso Soriano (expiration date 2008). Brett Jackson will step in as soon as Marlon Byrd goes away. And Josh Vitters may be needed as soon as next season if Aramis Ramirez exercises his option and leaves the Cubs this winter.

Are these guys going to be any good? Who knows. Are the Cubs going to try harder than ever to get them into the lineup and save millions on salary?


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