Admittedly, I haven't been following along during this Cubs' offseason as carefully as I have in years past, but when they read off the lineup card, I'm surprised by how little I know about most players on the Cubs.
I know a few of them were there last year, guys like Valbuena (the third baseman) and Camp (the pitcher), but most of their bullpen and some of their rotation and even the free agents - I don't know much about them.
So, what do they have, going forward? Who's a part of this team when they're actually trying to be good again? I'd guess Castro, Rizzo, Samardzija, maybe Castillo (the catcher), maybe Barney, maybe Travis Wood and Jeff Russell. DeJesus, Schuerholz (sp?), Ian Stewart and Scott Hairston are probably elsewhere as soon as next year. We can only hope that Marmol and maybe even Soriano are elsewhere as well. And Edwin Jackson got a sizable contract but he's not untradable either.
To tell you the truth, I'm not even sure about Castro and Rizzo. We have to see what Rizzo can do for an entire season. And Castro so far looks better at short, but as late as the end of last year, there was discussion as to whether that was his position or not. (No questions about Castro's hitting.) Soler and Baez are coming, but can they be counted upon to be impact players? We've seen Josh Vitters and Ryan Harvey and a score of others come through and not make any impact. We've seen players like McGehee and Hinske be given up on by the Cubs and go on to have relatively (compared to other Cubs prospects) productive careers elsewhere. I know it's a new regime in charge of everything, including player development, but so far I haven't seen anything to inspire a ton of confidence in this team's player development.
To tell you the truth, as a Cubs fan for over 40 years, I'm really tired of watching, investing time and emotion in the Cubs, and ... of just WAITING TILL NEXT YEAR...