The 2010 season has had a familiar feeling for the Chicago Cubs in regard to the team's performance and standing within the National League Central division. But unlike numerous Cubs teams of the past, this year's version has been based largely on developing young talent and building a culture that operates from within.
Since Dallas Green joined the Cubs as general manager in 1982, the Cubs have been an organization based on free agency. Over the past 30 years, the Cubs have landed numerous free agents and fielded teams largely comprised of players from competing franchises. Often, the result of the Cubs' numerous acquisitions has left the club short of being competitive, but in several instances, the Cubs have been able to create quite a playoff contender.
Free agent signings and trades have brought in some of—if not all—of the greatest Cubs players of the past half-century. The signings of Andre Dawson, Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, and even Eric Karros have all been integral moves in creating a Cubs division winner and playoff contender.
Though the 2010 season appears to be one of little contention and much education for younger Cubs players, the 2011 season will once again give the Cubs the opportunity to land a major impact player in the free agent market.
One of the most sought after soon-to-be free agents is Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder.
Employed by one of the Cubs biggest rivals, Fielder could be a long-term solution to the offensive struggles the Cubs have faced over the past few seasons. Power numbers, run production, on-base percentage and slugging percentage have all decreased for the Cubs since their last playoff appearance in 2008, and Prince Fielder may be just the guy to put an end to those offensive woes.
Here are five reasons why the Cubs should make every effort to land the slugging superstar in 2011.