Five moves the Cubs should make...but probably won't

Damen JacksonCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2008

2008 Chicago Cubs (Cubbie Nation/File)

Filed:November 5th, 2008

Welcome to the Hot Stove Season.

It officially kicks off this week, with the General Managers' meeting, and continues with the official opening of free agency November 13th. So far, some 100-plus players have filed for free agency, and even with less than ideal market conditions, most can expect to see significant interest and sizable pay increases in this wonderful world of baseball parity. Teams are flush, and the Wild Card makes every GM start getting delusions of grandeur, no matter what their actual situation.

And the Cubs? Well, not so much. Even their pocketbook has a limit, and as we transition out of the Zell/Tribune ownership into...well, whomever is going to own this thing with the Trib, management is putting a clamp on big contracts. Crane Kenney says general manager Jim Hendry will have the money to work though, even if he won't be able to drop another 50 million or so on his favorite free agent.

So, how then do you improve a team that won 97 games last season, without the benefit of being able to take on meaningful salary? And for that matter, do you want to try? Many have some ideas about that, and here at Cubbie Nation, we've got a few as well.

That said, over the next week we'll be bringing you a five-part series known as "Five moves the Cubs should make...but probably won't". We've scoured the free-agent roster, looked at who is currently out of favor with their current club, and considered at some depth what the hell is wrong with these Cubs. From this, we've determined five transactions that should take place to improve the 2009 Cubs, and hopefully make them a touch better in the postseason; assuming that they get back, of course. We think you'll enjoy it.

Check back often over the next week, and definitely drop us a note and tell us what you think.