October 8, 2013


The Cubs have a few free agents off their roster. None of them seem to be critical components of the Plan to rebuild the major league roster with better talent (one of the major factors that got Sveum fired).

Starter Scott Baker got $5.5 million for a long, restful rehab stint with the Cubs organization, and rewarded the team with 15 IP. Now fully healed, Baker will  go out onto the free agent market and reap a long term deal with another club. With Epstein saying that Cubs are not going spend any money on free agents this off season, this means that internal options like Chris Rusin, Carlos Villaneuva or Jason Grimm will vie for the 5th starter role.

Catcher Dioner Navarro put up starter type numbers as the back up catcher, so he will be a coveted free agent because power at catcher is in short supply, he is a switch hitter and is a above average pinch hitter.

Closer Kevin Gregg is certainly gone. He was a stop gap signing when projected closer, Fujikawa, got hurt. Fuji is expected to be the Cubs 2014 closer unless Pedro Strop wins the job in spring training.

Oufielder Ryan Sweeney is nothing more than the front office's infatuation with tall, lanky, left handed hitting outfielders without power or RBI production. Sweeney is at best a fifth outfielder, and the team has plenty of fifth outfielders on the roster. But since he has a Boston-Epstein connection, he may be re-signed as insurance if Junior Lake falters in his sophomore season.

Reliever Matt Guerrier did nothing to demand his return in 2014. The throw in for the Carlos Marmol exile was just that, a throw in, a warm body, who only lasted 12 appearances for breaking down. At age 36, he won't be back as a Cub.