Well it’s the best time of the year for us Cubs fans, the offseason. A time when we all have hope, some of our young ballplayers are already playing fall baseball and pitchers and catchers report in just four short months.

Speaking of pitchers, Mark Prior is in the news again. The new word/excuse is that he has “loose joints;” Prior is still months away from pitching and both orthopaedic specialists said that he needs to strengthen his shoulder. STOP THE PRESSES! Mark Prior needs to condition himself! My perspective is, the sooner we get rid of this guy, the better. He has to be one of the biggest busts in Cubs history when you consider what he could have been; he’s Kevin Brown without the good years.

Also, the Cubs are going to bid on the rights to negotiate with the Seibu Lions’ star pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Daisuke was 17-5 this year with a 2.13 ERA. He is a power pitcher and he will cost some team $20 million just for negotiating rights – that money will go to his erstwhile Japanese team and you can bet agent Scott Boras will get top money from the Cubs, Mets, Yankees or Red Sox. Adding this guy, Jason Schmidt and Carlos Lee would put the Cubs right back in contention in one year.

Kerry Wood is throwing the ball from 50 feet and is working out with the Cubs in Arizona. I suspect he will be given an incentive-laden deal but we’ll have to see what Uncle Lou (pictured above) thinks about that. Cubs prospects appear to be playing well in the Arizona Fall League, with relief pitcher Lincoln Holdzkom leading the way.

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