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Kris Bryant to Join the Cubs

The wait is over Cubs fans.  Kris Bryant will join the club today, and the MLB season can officially begin! At 5-3, the Cubbies are currently tied for 1st place with the Cardinals.  This despite Jon Lester starting his career in Chicago with a 7.84 ERA and 1.94 WHIP over just 10.1 innings in two starts.

Starlin Castro, Jorge Soler and Chris Coghlan are all hitting over .300, but Anthony Rizzo is next on the list with a .240 BA!  Dexter Fowler, Arismendy Alcantara and Miguel Montero are also struggling at the plate.

Bryant will take over for Mike Olt at 3B and hit cleanup for the Cubs.  Olt was placed on the DL with a fractured wrist.

It has been a LONG time since the Chicago Cubs were good.  So what have they been doing with their draft picks in recent years?!

The Cubs were swept in the NLDS by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007 and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008.  They won 83 games in 2009 before finishing in 5th place for 5 straight season. The last two have also been last place finishes, with the Houston Astros moving to the American League.

So the 2010 draft is where the rebuilding process began.  

With the 16th pick, the Cubs drafted Hayden Simpson, RHP out of Southern Arkansas (DII).  He has yet to make it out of High-A ball, and owns a career ERA of 6.83.  Even though he is just 25 year old, it is safe to say he was a terrible pick.  The Cubs could have drafted Christian Yelich, who went 7 picks later to the Marlins.

2011, Cubs draft SS Javier Baez out of High School.  We all know about him and he has a chance to help in the rebuilding process.  George Springer and Jose Fernandez were 2 of the next 5 picks! Sonny Gray went 18th to the Athletics that year.

Theo Epstein traded for his own draft pick with Boston Red Sox back in 2007, Anthony Rizzo, sending Andrew Cashner to the Padres.  Rizzo was traded from Boston for Adrian Gonzalez.

Later that year, in the 2012 MLB draft, the Cubs selected OF Albert Almora out of High School.  He is a career .293 Minor League hitter and smacked 27 doubles last season, between High-A and AA ball.  He is a top 50 prospect in the MLB.

The Cubs later acquired Addison Russell from the Athletics, who was drafted 11th overall in 2012, in the Jeff Samardzija & Jason Hammel deal, last season.

They also signed Jorge Soler to a 9 year $30 mil deal out of Cuba and added Hector Rondon in the Rule V draft, previously with the Cleveland Indians.

At the trade deadline, they dealt Ryan Dempster to the Texas Rangers and got Kyle Hendricks back in return.

Prior to the start of the 2013 MLB season, the Cubs gave Edwin Jackson $52 mil, which was a huge mistake.  That deal expires in 2017.

The 2013 draft saw Mark Appel go first overall to the Houston Astros, followed by the Cubs selection of Kris Bryant.

That year, Epstein traded Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman to the Baltimore Orioles for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop!

They also have done a nice job with international signings.

Between (Eloy) Jimenez and the signing of Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres on July 2, the Cubs have added the No. 1 and No. 2 international prospects from this year’s signing class. - Baseball America

Last year the Cubs drafted catcher Kyle Schwarber from Indiana University.  He hit .344 with 18 doubles and 18 home runs in his rookie season.  They also traded for Miguel Montero this past winter, who is locked into a big contract until 2018.  Will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Clearly, the future in Chicago looks glorious, and today is going to be crazy at Wrigley Field.  With Lester, Rizzo and Soler locked up to long term/big money deals, it will be interesting to see what happens with Starlin Castro and his 7 year $60 mil deal that expires in 2021.  Will they hold onto him, or deal him and open up playing time for Russell?

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