Projecting the Cubs 2013 Lineup with Keepers, Free Agents and Prospects

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Projecting the Cubs 2013 Lineup with Keepers, Free Agents and Prospects
Brian Kersey/Getty Images
Starlin Castro will be the Cubs shortstop for the next seven years.

Theo Epstein's first season as team president of the Chicago Cubs began what looks to be a long-term rebuilding project on the north side of the city. 

Veteran pitchers Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm were traded for prospects, as was catcher Geovany Soto, as Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer attempt to bolster the talent level and depth of pitching in their minor league organization. 

The Cubs have young talent to build around in Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson. On the pitching side, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza and Travis Wood give the team some strong young arms as well. 

Epstein isn't looking for a quick fix, so Cubs fans will probably have to suffer through some more growing pains over the next two to three seasons. Will the Cubs lose 100 games again next season? Not if the right free agents are brought in to supplement what's already on hand. The right pitchers, in particular, could make a huge difference next season. 

The Houston Astros will no longer be in the NL Central to keep the Cubs from the bottom, however. The other four teams in the division look like playoff contenders too, so the next few years could be rough. But the Cubs could be intriguing to watch as they build for the future.

What will the Cubs starting lineup look like next season? The roster might not look as different as some fans would like. But the team could add some free agents to the pitching staff that should make them more competitive. Here's the opening day lineup we project for the Cubs in 2013. 

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