The season was over before it started, but the Chicago Cubs head into a stretch that will be as important as other teams' Septembers if they ever want to find themselves playing in October.
With the draft complete, all attention from the front office turns to contenders looking for a piece or two aiding a stretch run, while in return receiving a piece or two to help Chicago in years to come.
As bad as the Cubs are—and they're bad—they have valuable pieces that, although they cannot help the Cubs, can help contenders.
Expect Ryan Dempster to be dealt, along with the possibility of Matt Garza, Bryan LaHair, Alfonso Soriano and anyone not named Starlin or Samardzija.
That being said, the roster overhaul leaves the cupboard bare. First-round pick Albert Almora has yet to sign, and the minor league system isn't as strong as it needs to be.
But there is something. Here's 10 players on the Cubs roster who can contribute and be built around.
This isn't an order of top prospects. Instead, it's a rank of who can be built around. For example, Ryan Dempster is better than Jeff Samardzija, but Samardzija is a better piece to build around.