Normally there would be little of interest in watching games played by a last place baseball team in the final month of the season, however this year's Chicago Cubs are an exception to the norm. Right now the Chicago Cubs are the most interesting last place team in professional sports.
The reason why is all of the young talent brought up from the Cubs' farm system to play on the major league team for the final two months of the season. True, their 16-15 record in August is not the stuff of a divisional champion, but every game comes with the possibility of seeing a Jorge Soler or Javier Baez home run. Rookie pitcher Kyle Hendricks has a 5-1 record with a 1.91 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Arismendy Alcantara is settling in nicely in center. Starlin Castro is having a nice, bounce back season, and Anthony Rizzo is amongst the league leaders in home runs.
What is obvious to anyone watching is that the Cubs have had talent in their farm system, what is needed now is time for that talent to gain experience. Six more players will be called up later this week when the minor league season comes to an end.
It is now time to speculate about who will be on the major league team next year, including which free agents the Cubs may sign in the off season. In order for all the talent to come to together to form a winning team, there will need to be some veteran pitching.
The Cubs will have money to spend on free agents during the off season, so they could sign Lester or Scherzer, but will they? I think it is going to depend on whether Theo Epstein thinks the Cubs have a chance to be in the playoffs next year.
While the Cubs will have much more talent next year, they will not have much experience, and therefore I think it will be a surprise if they lead their division. A wild card spot, however, may be possible.
I think the most likely scenario is that Epstein signs some mid-level, low priced free agents during the off season. He will wait to see how the young players do during the season and if they are in the hunt near the signing deadline then the Cubs will be buyers.
Either way, I am excited to watch the Cubs play this month and see how the prospects perform. I am looking forward to the off season to see who the Cubs sign and I am really looking forward to next year and the possibility that the Cubs will be in the top tier of their division.