Originally written on Baseball News Source  |  Last updated 12/17/13
When Theo Epstein left Boston to become president of the Chicago Cubs after the 2011 season, he forecasted a rebuilding process that would include purging bad contracts of veterans, upgrading a woefully barren farm system and acquiring low-risk, high-reward players. The project has continued this offseason. On Tuesday, ESPNDeportes.com reported that the Cubs signed right-handed reliever Jose Veras to a one-year, $4 million deal that includes a $5.5 million option for 2015 and incentives. So far this offseason, the Cubs have acquired backup catcher George Kottaras and outfielder Justin Ruggiano via trades; signed outfielders Casper Wells and Darnell McDonald, and infielder Ryan Roberts, to minor league deals; and inked left-handed reliever Wesley Wright in addition to Veras. Since the Cubs farm system features 21-year-old third baseman Kris Bryant (who was selected second overall last summer), 21-year-old shortstop Javier Baez (who could be moved to third base), and 25-year-old corner infielder Mike Olt, they have trade chips.  Olt is a candidate to start at third base for the Cubs in 2014 since Donnie Murphy and Luis Valbuena are the lone players who occupy the hot corner on the depth chart. Though he is signed to a long-term deal and is just 23, Starlin Castro could eventually be moved if Baez is deemed good enough defensively to man shortstop. This offseason, trade rumors have been attached to second baseman Darwin Barney and right-handed starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs outfield is lean with Ruggiano as the projected center fielder and Nate Schierholtz as the projected right fielder. That isn’t appealing for the long term, but the club does have promising 23-year-old left fielder Junior Lake (who hit .288 with six home runs in 236 at -bats last season) and highly regarded prospects Jorge Soler and Albert Almora. The high ceiling Arodys Vizcaino, who missed last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery but is expected to content for a rotation spot in 2014, is still just 23. Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson can lead the rotation if Epstein decided to unload Samardzija for a haul of prospects.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Anthony Davis wants gold medal more than NBA MVP

Report: Ronda Rousey’s last fight topped 900,000 PPV buys

Rose issues statement denying sexual assault allegations

Giants’ rookie Tomlinson blasts a grand slam for first MLB home run

Coughlin treats training camp-weary Giants to ‘spa day’

Wilson: Comments about miracle water ‘perceived wrong’


Ryan Mallett missed Texans practice after oversleeping

Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case

Martavis Bryant reportedly failed multiple marijuana tests

Mortensen: Krafts called me to apologize amid Deflategate drama

Packers smart to sit Aaron Rodgers for rest of preseason

Is Rich Paul steering Tristan Thompson towards Toronto?

Melvin Upton Jr. channels Willie Mays with catch

John Elway talks up Colin Kaepernick: ‘I’ve always liked Colin’

Enrique Hernandez falls down trying to hit Aroldis Chapman pitch

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

WATCH: McElwain surprises six players with scholarships

LeBron James gives shout out to writer recovering from surgery

Frank Gore calls Andrew Luck ‘football God’

Eddie Royal joins the list of injured Bears receivers

Terry Stotts, Damian Lillard and the shapeless Trail Blazers

Jim Harbaugh thought phone call from Michael Jordan was a prank

The Buffalo Sabres have a 96% season ticket renewal rate

Karl-Anthony Towns is perfect for today's NBA

Serena’s grand slam bid prompts sell out of women’s US Open final

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case

Packers smart to sit Rodgers for rest of preseason

Towns is perfect for today's NBA

The Opening Drive: Utah alum Jordan Gross is fed up with the HarBros

Five greatest NBAers without a ring

Exactly how bad is the NL East?

Five potential college football Week 1 shockers

Top 10 storylines for Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Wilson’s ‘Recovery Water’ plug sends the wrong message

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker