Cubs, Sox add talent in hopes of returning to relevancy

New+Cub+Jon+Lester+hopes+to+add+more+depth+to+the+pitching+staff+in+this+upcoming+season.+The+lefty+posted+a+2.46+ERA+last+year+with+Oakland.

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New Cub Jon Lester hopes to add more depth to the pitching staff in this upcoming season. The lefty posted a 2.46 ERA last year with Oakland.

Matt Grabianski, Staff Writer

Both the Cubs and the Sox have made many big moves over the offseason, with both the Cubs signing big free agent pitcher Jon Lester and making many additions to their already outstanding crop of young players, and the Sox signing multiple free agents such as Melky Cabrera, Adam LaRoche and Jeff Samardzija.

The excitement and optimism for Chicago baseball comes with the beginning of Spring Training.

But this isn’t just the preseason, especially for Chicago fans.

What these signings and big power moves are signaling for all fans is that these teams are ready to roll. The Cubs have been stocking up for a while now with the addition of quality pitching to supplement the talent of Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Javy Baez, and the Sox are very close to putting it all together, having added the consistent hitting of Cabrera. Both teams have sent their message to the league – they’re ready to contend for a World Championship.

It’s about time the teams get some wins. Combined over the last two years, Chicago baseball is a total of 275-373. That’s a winning percentage of .424. To put that in perspective, the worst team across the entirety of Major League Baseball in 2014 had a .395 winning percentage (Arizona Diamondbacks) and the second worst coming in at .414 (Texas Rangers). Chicago baseball ranks third.

However, with all these moves, it’s becoming quite apparent that Chicago baseball might not be so bad for the next coming years.

For the Cubs, the future is especially bright. Slugger and all around all-star Kris Bryant has been showing everybody up so far in spring. As of March 15, Bryant had 6 homers in Spring Training, the next best had 2. Not only is Bryant continuing to impress, but prospects Soler and Baez have been joining him in tearing up the Cactus League. The three studs went back to back to back recently, with three consecutive home runs. The Cubs farm system has been ranked first in the MLB for quite a few years now, and now is the time that the young kids  get their time to shine. If all works out, the Cubs will be a team you’ll hear a lot more about in October.

For the Sox, they know that it’s now or never, and the signs are pointing to now. Ace Chris Sale is in his prime now, and the lineup as a whole has been improved significantly. They also have their star in Jose Abreu, a young player prepared to carry the team for many years to come. Abreu tied for fourth in the MLB with 36 homers last year, and that’s with missing a few months with an injury. With two stars and great depth, the Sox look like they’re ready to strike.

Despite the bright future and optimism surrounding both teams, Chicago has struggled historically in spring. Even though these games are solely played to decide who’s starting and who’s cut, conclusions can still be drawn. The Cubs are 5-9 in Arizona this spring, and the Sox are 5-7. The players have impressed yet the teams have still been struggling to get the wins.

All that being said, still look for the two crosstown rivals to compete this season. Maybe we’ll actually get a winning season. And, maybe, just maybe, this is the year.