3 Most Important Moves the Cubs Need to Make Entering the New Year

Jason S. Parini@@JasonPariniBRCorrespondent IIDecember 23, 2014

3 Most Important Moves the Cubs Need to Make Entering the New Year

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    Paul Beaty/Associated Press

    Though 2015 doesn't officially begin until January 1, the Chicago Cubs have already kicked off their 2015 by making a huge splash in free agency and a few trades during the 2014-15 offseason.

    Most importantly, the Cubs signed starting pitcher Jon Lester to a six-year, $155 million deal on December 10. Just days before, the Cubs traded for two-time All-Star Miguel Montero and signed his former coach from Arizona, former Cub Henry Blanco.

    Other moves have included signing starting pitcher Jason Hammel and manager Joe Maddon, both of whom are key pieces for the future of the Cubs.

    However, the Cubs still have moves to make before they can call themselves a World Series contender. Here are three moves the Cubs should still make during the 2014-15 offseason.

Sign a Television Deal for the Remaining Games Available

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    Frank Polich/Associated Press

    The Cubs recently announced a television deal with ABC-7 Chicago, allowing the Chicago ABC affiliate to televise 25 games a year from 2015-19.

    Comcast already has the rights to televise approximately 80 games a season until 2019, meaning that the team still needs to determine the television rights to approximately 45 games a year. It's possible that those remaining 45 games could still end up on WGN-TV.

    The club has already severed ties with WGN Radio, announcing that Cubs games will now be broadcast on CBS Chicago beginning next season.

    The Cubs and WGN have been partnered for 90 years, but it has become clear that the front office is willing to do whatever is necessary to maximize profit. The organization already severed one long-term relationship when it cut ties with Old Style beer before the 2014 season in favor of Anheuser-Busch.

Acquire More Veteran Leadership and Experience

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    George Nikitin/Associated Press

    As you may recall, Jon Lester was not the only player who was sent to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes. In fact, his teammate Jonny Gomes was another key part of the blockbuster deal.

    Gomes and Lester played in Boston, winning a World Series together in 2013.

    Signing another veteran, especially someone like Gomes with championship experience, is a key move that the Cubs should make to aid with the development of the many prospects soon to arrive on the North Side. It's been documented, per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, that Gomes would indeed be a good fit because of his leadership and experience with key components Jon Lester, Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon.

    Gomes could be a good fit to platoon in left field with Chris Coghlan or with Arismendy Alcantara. He could also provide some veteran leadership to Alcantara and Albert Almora when he finally arrives on the North Side.

    The team has already boosted its veteran leadership by signing David Ross, who is familiar with the Theo Epstein administration.

Trade C Welington Castillo

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Although Castillo showed some signs of improvement last season, his tenure with the Cubs looks almost certain to be over.

    The Cubs traded for two-time All-Star catcher Miguel Montero on December 9, then signed C Ryan Lavarnway and David Ross, both of whom are former Red Sox catchers. Ross and Lester spent much time together in Boston, and it was with Ross behind the plate that Lester's numbers often blossomed.

    The Cubs can get a couple of solid prospects out of Castillo most likely to help improve the team's pitching core—a point of emphasis for the Cubs moving forward.

    The Rangers and Rockies have been named as potential destinations for Castillo. The Rockies reportedly have already been exploring the option of dealing Wilin Rosario, possibly opening up a spot for Castillo with the Rockies, per Thomas Harding of MLB.com.

    The Rangers are also looking to add a catcher with more experience. However, the Cubs may not receive much from the Rangers, as their first option looks to be signing a free-agent catcher.

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