On paper, the Chicago Cubs may look like one of the worst teams in baseball in 2013.
They also may look like they didn't improve all that much from 2012.
However, that doesn't mean that Cubs fans should be slamming the abort button on Theo Epstein and company's rebuilding plan. In fact, his plan seems more logical with each transaction made.
It cannot be stressed enough that Epstein is only in his third year in charge of the Cubs and his plan has only just begun.
In a way, the Cubs will receive a fresh start in 2014 when a new manager takes the helm. Ideally, the Cubs will land an individual with managerial experience who will also be able to properly develop their prospects and fix some of the attitude problems throughout the clubhouse.
Following a 66-96 season, the Cubs have the No. 4 pick in the 2014 MLB draft.
That's the whole idea of rebuilding. You have to lose before you can win and the Cubs have been doing the first part quite well. However, they have also done a sufficient job so far of starting from the bottom and developing their prospects and draft picks.
The Cubs' previous three first-round draft picks are looking to become the future of the Cubs' organization. All three—Kris Bryant, Albert Almora and Javier Baez—are currently ranked 35th or higher in MLB.com's top 100 prospects.
Besides their first-round picks, the Cubs also have other strong prospects including Jorge Soler (OF), Mike Olt (3B) and C.J. Edwards (P). Those are just a few of their solid prospects.
Not only will the team improve in the near future, so will the ballpark.
Though the details of the renovations are still being worked on and changed, the Cubs received city approval for a $500 million renovation of Wrigley Field, which will host its 100th season of Cubs baseball in 2014.
Perhaps Wrigley Field could be partially blamed for the Cubs' futility. The team's clubhouse is quite small and uncomfortable.
If all goes as planned, the clubhouse and prospects may be ready for a Cubs World Series in a few years at roughly the same time.
Remember that $136 million the Cubs used to have in their wallet? Well, it all went to Alfonso Soriano. Unfortunately, only two first-round playoff exits came with it. Soriano was traded to the Yankees before the 2013 trade deadline, though the Cubs will pick up $17.7 million of what he is owed through the end of 2014.
Although it's unfortunate that the Cubs had to eat so much, there is a bright side: The Cubs will have a great deal of money freed up in the future.
Even the Cubs' spring training experience is improving. The Cubs are set to move into a brand new stadium in Mesa, Arizona in the spring of 2014. Could an improvement of the practice facility improve the team? Absolutely.
Cubs fans just need to be patient. Then again, after over 100 years of waiting, how patient can one really be?
The Cubs still have a bright future ahead of them. Mark my words, they will drastically improve in 2015. With a promising young farm system, new managerial slate and an impending improvement in facilities, the Cubs will absolutely become one of the top franchises in Major League Baseball in the coming years.
It's going to happen, Cubs fans. It's going to happen.
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