With a new front office in place, the Cubs began a full-scale rebuilding last season, and the short-term results were tough to swallow.
The team lost 101 games, the Cubs' worst season since going 59-103 back in 1966, but beneath that dreadful record is a franchise heading in the right direction.
The farm system has already been vastly improved and should continue to get better as the team deals more veteran pieces.
As it stands, guys like Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Jeff Samardzija are solid pieces to build around, the team's offseason was spent bringing aboard stopgap options to make the team respectable in 2013 and to supply more trade chips come July.
It will likely be another long season, as the only team standing between the Cubs and last place is in the AL West—the Houston Astros.
There is plenty of reason for optimism long-term in Chicago though. The team has improved to the point that it should avoid a second straight 100-loss campaign.
With the season set to kick off on Monday, here is a look at my predictions for who will take home all of the major team awards in 2013.