Remember, these are not based on what you think what will happen or whether or not the players want to come to Chicago. Vote based on whether the deals and trades are realistic and whether the team is a contender or not.


FA Signings
Nyjer Morgan 4/1
Kameron Loe 3/1
Marcum 18/2 (8 in 2013)
Liriano 16/2 ( 7 in 2013)
Blanton 18/2 (8 in 2013)
Casey McGhee 2/1
Derek Lowe 5/1

Trades
Travis Wood, DeJesus, Vogelbach, Barney for Shin Soo Choo and Nick Hagadone

McNutt, Logan Watkins, Josh Vitters, Ben Wells, and Matt Szczur for Jed Lowrie and Wilton Lopez

Marmol + 3 million to Angels for Hank Conger

Baez, Brett Jackson, Ronald Torreyes for David Wright

Lineup
C- Castillo- .5
1B- Rizzo-.5
2B. Lowrie -2 million (arb guess)
SS- Castro- 5.8 million
3B- Wright- 16 million
LF Soriano- 19 million
CF- Morgan -4 million
RF- Choo- 8 (arb guess)

Sp- Garza -10 million
SP- Samardzija- 3 million
SP- Liriano- 7 million
SP- Marcum- 8 million
SP- Blanton- 8 million

Bullpen
Loe- 3 million
Lopez- 1.2 (arb guess)
Russell - .9
Vizcaino- .4
Hagadone- .4
Bowden- .4
Lowe- 5

Bench
McGhee- 2
LaHair- .4
Sappelt-.4
Conger- .4
Valbuena- .9

MLB payroll- 107.6 million
Soler/Concepcion + remaining 40 man- 9.3
Total-$116.9 million

I may have gutted the system a bit, but in doing so I think I put a competitive team out there. Plus with fewer players reaching FA every year it's best to get them before they hit FA. I think I upgraded the team offensively and defensively. Although I'd admit I'm not sure if that package is enough for Lopez/Lowrie. I think we could use someone to compete with Castillo so that's where Conger comes in. I think it could be a nice platoon.

The starting pitching might be a little weak, but if things go right I think it's solid. Although it's not deep. Some may say I overpaid for Liriano and that might be true, but this team could use an arm with that kind of upside. Even if he pitches like last year it's still not a huge overpay and he has the potential to do more. Blanton gives the team innings. Marcum is an injury risk, but he's one I'm willing to take a chance on. This team doesn't have a true ace, but I think it's good enough to keep the team in most games. Who knows maybe Garza reverts back to his 2011 form and we can have our ace?

The bullpen might seem a little weak, but I think there is potential there besidesBowden who is basically for mop up duty. Kameron Lowe had a bad year last year, but I think he can bounce back. He's not your ideal closer, but he won't walk the world and there are signs he can bounce back. Derek Lowe gives the team a swingman. Plus maybe with the infield D they can make him look better.

Overall, I think this gives us a competitive team although it did hurt the system a bit. But we do have the #2 pick in the 2013 draft along with a bigger budget so we can replenish it. In the event that this team doesn't perform there are enough guys there that you can get something good for them at the deadline and then reload for 2014.