Theo Epstein might never officially take the helm of the Chicago Cubs at this rate. However, assuming the Cubs and Boston Red Sox work something out and that Epstein eventually becomes the head honcho at Wrigley Field, he will have his work cut out for him.
The Cubs have won 75 and 71 games the past two seasons, respectively, and a fan base long weary of losing has grown downright impatient. Epstein needs to provide results soon, be it in the form of a rapid turnaround or simply some forward progress in 2012.
Either way, the in-house minor-league talent held by the Cubs is insufficient to the task of getting the organization back on track. As Epstein gears up for the offseason, then, here are 12 free agents who should be on his radar. The Cubs will sign perhaps only two or three of these names, but if Epstein chooses wisely, those players could ease the process of circling the wagons on Chicago's North Side.