Most of you have probably flushed this down your memory hole, but OV set up a free agent prediction contest last fall. Participants were given 50 prediction units and allowed to place them on anyone they thought the Cubs might sign. The details aren’t important, frankly, since not a single person correctly predicted any Cubs signing. A few of the predicted players have yet to sign with anyone (notably Joel Hanrahan and Ryan Madson), but it’s opening day and therefore time to put this contest out of it’s misery. And let’s face it, when the backend of your bullpen is filled with names like Veras, Strop, and Schlitter, Hanrahanrahan isn’t waiting by the phone.
Sixty-five players received at least a fraction of a vote. The top five vote-getters were Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Curtis Granderson, and Bronson Arroyo. No one saw Jason Hammel getting the nod, and I don’t think the Cubs necessarily did, either. Rather, he was a warm body still on the market after Tanaka signed with the Yankees. The same goes for James McDonald.
Among the other Cub signees, Jose Veras had his 2014 option declined by the Tigers, so his name didn’t show up on free agent lists at the time. Wesley Wright was non-tendered by the Rays. Emilio Bonifacio was released late by the Royals. Any of those signings would have required a very thorough crystal ball.
One could argue that Tanaka and Aledmys Diaz were the best guesses, since the Cubs were at least reported to have been in the running, but this isn’t horseshoes.
The Cubs’ offseason: nothing to see here.