This article was originally published on TheDailyCub.com, your source for all news Chicago Cubs.
Just about a day away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, it's time to start looking at the Chicago Cubs and what they are going to be doing next season.
However, to move forward, you have to look backwards as well. The Cubs have had yet another busy offseason as they try to finally avoid a first round sweep (last year by the hand of the Dodgers, you gotta hate Manny being Manny).
First, lets start with some of the moves that I disagree with. Just to get this out in the open and out of the way, I have to disagree with Jim Hendry on these few offseason moves.
Letting Kerry Wood go was a big mistake in my opinion. The move hurts the Cubs' bullpen which was finally becoming strong. They could have kept the shutdown rotation of Jeff Samardzija, Carlos Marmol, and Kerry Wood, along with another reliever who will be talked about in a better section.
I just hate losing Mark DeRosa this offseason. He was a great player who everybody loved. The middle of DeRosa and Ryan Theriot just made every Cubs fan warm and fuzzy inside. Although I don't hate his replacement, I still love him.
Now that we got that out of the way, time to look at some of the better moves to help pump up the 2009 Chicago Cubs.
Re-signing Ryan Dempster was ginormous (the only word I can use to describe his impact) in keeping the Cubs a World Series-caliber team. He creates a triple threat almost unrivaled, and he gives them a great third starter without having to give up everything but the kitchen sink (sorry Jake Peavy...I know you're reading this).
Another pitching move to help the team is the addition of Kevin Gregg. He is going to allow the Cubs to move Carlos Marmol into the closer spot while keeping a good reliever to help out as a setup man. This still allows the Cubs to be set by the seventh inning.
Making up for the loss of Mark DeRosa, Aaron Miles will play a pivotal part in contributing to the Cubs offensively this season. He is a guy that can get on base consistently, as shown by his .317 batting average last season, higher than any player last season for the Cubs.
Now it's time to get to the big signing of the offseason. Two years ago it was Alfonso Soriano. Last year it was Kosuke Fukudome. This year, it's Milton Bradley.
Bradley is going to have to keep his temper in check, which is the same for a lot of major parts of the Cubs team this season (I'm looking at you Carlos Zambrano and Lou Piniella). With all of these moving parts, the Cubs could implode at any point in time this season.
However, we could just as easily make it all work and have a dream season. Who knows, if the Red Sox can do it, so can the Cubs...right?
But anyway, the 2009 Chicago Cubs are looking to become the first team to pull it all together. Nobody likes waiting 101 years for a championship, but these new parts could be ready to win it all.
At least, lets hope so, I don't want to jinx anything this early.
Pitchers and catchers report Friday and I know that we are all excited. Are you ready for some baseball?
I'm Joe W.