· Jim Hendry trades Milton Bradley to an independent league team in Italy in a strict salary dump. Without the scrutiny of the media, Bradley wins MVP of the Italian League.
· Chicago signs Felipe Lopez to a 2-year deal 3 weeks before spring training starts. From the #2 spot in the lineup, he hit .302/.392/.427 and ends the regular season
· Starlin Castro starts the year at AAA Iowa, even though he hit .415 in spring training and does not commit an error at SS or 2B. Eventually he is called up in August, after Ryan Theriot pulls a groin muscle.
· The core of the lineup, Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, Soto, stay relatively healthy, spending a combined 38 days on the DL.
· Tyler Colvin starts the year in centerfield, but is eventually traded at the trade deadline along with Sean Marshall and Marcos Mateo to the Cleveland Indians for Grady Sizemore. (idea courtesy-Bob Warja)
· The Cubs finish the regular season 99-63 on the way to their third division crown in four years.
Very bold predictions
· Each of the five starting pitchers for the Cubs wins at least 13 games. Lead by Carlos Zambrano, who goes 21-4 with an E.R.A. of 2.76, on the way to picking up his first career Cy Young.
· The Cubbie offense returns to form, lead by Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee, who combine to hit .313 with 73 homeruns while knocking in 235. Back under the tutelage of Rudy Jaramillo, Soriano goes off to hit .303, 31 HRs and 103 RBIs. This offensive attack leads Chicago to its first NL pennant since 1945.
Boldest prediction ever
· Under new ownership, the Cubs finally end the 101-year World Series drought in 2010, and promptly go on to win back-to-back championships, and 7 of the next 25. The Cubs become the New York Yankees of the 21st century.
Hey, a man can fantasize, can’t he?