FIXING THE CUBS IN A FEW EASY STEPS

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This is a continuation of my post in Talkin' Live...

I think we can all agree that this season is toast. We are at .500, we have lost something like 13 of 15 or whatever it is. We have no closer. We have no go-to RBI man. We have only one regular (Fukudome) hitting over .300, and only Theriot is anywhere NEAR .300 as far as other regulars are concerned.

Here's what I propose:
1)get ownership situation completed
2)fire Hendry immediately for what he's done
3)DFA/trade the following: Cotts (even though he's at AAA), Patton, Gregg, Heilman, Lee, Miles, Soto (face it, he's the second coming of Jerome Walton), Harden (b/c we won't sign him next year anyhow), Lilly (because he actually has value and we can replenish the system), Blanco, Bradley (tell him if he doesn't accept a trade, he sits the bench and faces embarrassment) Theriot (because he also has value), and you see if Soriano will waive his no trade (if so, then you gauge the market...by no means do you give him away, and if a team is making you do an AROD-like swap, where you take on salary, then you best get a decent return.
4)That would leave you with the following:
Z
Dempster
Wells
Marshall
?

pen: ?, ?, ?, Waddell, Ascanio, Guzman, Marmol

C-Koyie Hill
1B-Hoffpauir
2B-Fontenot
SS-?
3B-ARAM
LF-Soriano (in all probability)
CF-Johnson
RF-Fukudome

bench: Chris Robinson/Clevenger/W. Castillo-back-up catcher, Jake Fox IF/OF/emergency catcher, Tony Thomas middle IF sub, the OF back-up (s) would come via the afforementioned trades.

The following would be tough calls: Vitters, Flaherty, Harrison, Colvin. I'd promote them all soon, and see what they do, then go from there. For Vitters, I'd bypass high-A altogether and go to AA, then you'd see if he's for real if he can hit that advanced pitching-they're real prospects in AA.

I would probably look at Jay Jackson, Jon Gaub, Chris Archer, Jeff Stevens, Jeremy Papelbon and Blake Parker as relief/starter call-ups, and fill in elsewhere with the trades again.

In all honesty, if you get rid of the veterans like Lee, Bradley, and even Soriano (though I like his power), you have a team that plays so much looser than it normally does. Consider games where Fox, Hoffpauir, K Hill, and other younger guys play in lieu of those guys, and you'll see what I mean. There's a reason why we've won the last 2 years. It was because players like Theriot, Fontenot, and Soto we're blocked by underperforming players---they simply replaced them, because Hendry could absorb the cost, and had DeRosa to fill in for Fukudome when he was struggling, giving Fontenot a shot at 2B.

I would love a lineup like this (assuming ARAM's not back until mid-July):

Soriano-LF
Fukudome-CF
Fox-RF
Hoffpauir-1B
Vitters-3B
Flaherty-SS
Thomas-2B
K-Hill-C

That's rt-left-rt-left-rt-left-rt-switch throughout the lineup, and with Soriano, Fukudome, and Thomas, we have some decent speed. If Vitters struggles, you can always insert Fontenot at 3B, or we can go after a short-term solution in Kouzmanoff or Garrett Atkins, buying low on "mentors" to Vitters while ARAM recovers.

Look, I doubt Hendry can get these guys to give up no-trade rights, but the facts are this:

Cotts, Gregg, Patton, Miles, Lee, and Blanco will net you next to nothing in terms of prospects. The most you can expect is PTBNL or cash.

Lilly-worth at least 2 top prospects, 1 mid-tier
Soto-worth 1 top prospect, 1 low level
Theriot-worth 2 top prospects
Harden-worth 1 top prospect, 1 mid-tier
Bradley-worth 1 low-level prospect if they accept his salary,(1 mid-tier if we assume part of his salary...which would probably be half of his $30 million deal)
(this seems to be the going rate for these types of players FYI, and it IS based on research)

That's 10 prospects for 5 players! That's quite a haul, considering none of them are in our long-term plans. Soto and Harden are the only ones still with a few years in their 20's left. Theriot's 29, Lilly and Bradley are 30+. Harden is constantly broken down, and Soto is fat and will never be the same---time to sell high (if you can even call it that at this point).

My team is NOT made up of nothing but young guys, but if you look, it's made up of competitors that actually produce. Z, Dempster, Marmol, Guzman, K. Hill, Johnson are all guys that have a fire in them. Fukudome just leads with his hitting, and OBP skills. That's a pretty decent core to build from, isn't it? ARAM is so clutch...you surround him with young guys that can get on base, and we fix this.

If we could pull it off, I'd see what the Nats would take for Dunn at the deadline, and go after him for his OBP...You'd have 2 guys in your lineup then (Dunn and Fukudome) with .400 OBP capability, and ARAM that sits around the .375-.380 OBP range. Who cares if you have to bring along youngsters like Fox, Hoffpauir, Vitters, etc. then, so long as they bring the power, we'll be just fine.

My top targets would be Christian Guzman (for SS when Theriot is traded), Kouzmanoff (for 3B to hold off until ARAM gets back), Dunn (once Bradley and Lee are traded).

Immediately, Dunn replaces the production of 3 of our guys right now, essentially: Lee, Bradley, and Soto, so losing Lee AND Bradley we wouldn't be any worse off.

Guzman and Kouzie give us leeway to bring along Vitters, Flaherty, Thomas, and others slowly if we need to.

But for this team to succeed at all this year, and for that matter, even come close to competitive next year, Bradley, Lee, and Gregg HAVE to go. There's no negotiation there. All 3 have held this team back so much this year. If they won't waive no-trades, you simply embarrass them by starting Fox and Hoffpauir in their place, and demote Gregg all the way to mop-up duty