Chicago Cubs: Roster still holds some mystery to it

(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Position Player Depth (2 Players)

The Cubs excel because of their versatility. Because of this, they have the luxury of truly focusing on role players in filling out their roster. I expect the Cubs to look to include at least one additional outfielder. They are likely to focus on a specific trait for the other spot. Whether that trait is speed, defense, or batting handedness is the real question.

The Contenders

OF Albert Almora (incumbent), OF Peter Bourjos, OF Mark Zagunis, OF Bijan Rademacher, UTIL Chesny Young, IF Tommy La Stella (incumbent), IF David Bote, C Caratini

The Battle

I just like Bijan’s name, so I felt like including him on this list. He hasn’t much of a shot. Bote would really have to show something incredible to earn a spot. Young is one of my personal favorites and can play pretty much everywhere on the diamond. He’s been somewhat of a revelation the past two seasons, but he still isn’t quite ready for the big leagues. Caratini, Zagunis, Almora, Bourjas, and La Stella are the options.

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The Verdict

Almora is in. His upside is too high to think they’ll slow play his talent any longer. Zagunis will be a featured player this spring, but that will most certainly be to showcase him as a trade chip. The real drama here will be which trait Madden values more: speedy vet, left-handed contact bat, switch hitter with some power.

I continue to secretly root for Bourjos. He’s the tough-nosed scrapper that ignites a clubhouse and a dugout. Caratini is destined to be their 26th man, which leaves La Stella. If he continues to hit well this spring, it will be tough to keep him off the final Cubs roster.