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Third Base: Luis Valbuena vs. Donnie Murphy vs. Mike Olt vs. Kris Bryant
Third base has been an issue for the Cubs throughout the history of their organization. Ron Santo and Aramis Ramirez have really been the only stable options dating back to the 1960s.
The team's third basemen combined to hit just .221/.314/.434 last season, but they did manage 30 home runs and 70 RBI, thanks in large part to the surprise contributions of Donnie Murphy (11 HR in 149 AB).
The platoon of Luis Valbuena and Murphy may very well man the position again, but if prospect Mike Olt can bounce back he could steal the job this spring.
Big picture, though, they're all just holding down the fort for last year's top selection, Kris Bryant. He won Arizona Fall League MVP and earned an invite to spring training, though his odds of winning the job are slim.
No. 4 and 5 Starter: Jason Hammel vs. Jake Arrieta vs. Chris Rusin vs. Justin Grimm vs. James McDonald
The trio of Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson are locks to be part of the Cubs rotation this coming season, but the final two rotation spots are still up for grabs.
Jason Hammel is likely a lock after signing a one-year deal in free agency, though he does have experience relieving as well. He has the potential to surprise, much like Scott Feldman did last year, and the team will be looking to build some value and use him as a potential trade chip.
Jake Arrieta and Chris Rusin will duke it out for the final spot after both finished the season strong last year. Justin Grimm is also in the running after being acquired from the Texas Rangers, though he could use some time in Triple-A.
The wild card is James McDonald, who went 9-3 with a 2.37 ERA in the first half of the 2012 season. He's just 5-7 with a 6.95 ERA in the season and a half, since though, and the 29-year-old will have to have a big spring to earn a roster spot, let alone a rotation spot.
Prediction: Hammel at No. 4 and Arrieta at No. 5
Last Bench Spot: Ryan Roberts vs. Logan Watkins vs. Chris Coghlan vs. Ryan Kalish vs. Darnell McDonald
The Cubs will likely break camp with five bench players, and four of those spots look to be locked up. Catcher George Kottaras, infielders Donnie Murphy and Luis Valbuena (if Mike Olt starts) and outfielder Justin Ruggiano all look like safe bets.
Ryan Roberts looks to have a good chance of securing that job as a non-roster invitee. While he had a down season last year, he brings a good mix of power and speed and can play second, third and corner outfield.
Prospect Logan Watkins is certainly in the mix after making his debut last year, though the team could also opt to go with a fifth outfielder. Former NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, Ryan Kalish and Darnell McDonald have a shot, while prospects Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur could get a look as well.