Your Irresponsibly Early Guide To Free Agent Saviors For The Cubs

The Cubs are done. Sorry, kiddies. It's time to go back to school, also known as the daily six-hour distraction from not thinking about ways to dismantle Kevin Gregg limb-by-limb before feeding him to Hannibal Lecter. And if you're lucky enough to go to school with Cardinals fans, then you really need to work hard to get out of the slow class.

Speaking of the slow class, I'm hoping Jim Hendry gets greeted with an axe upon seasons end, unless of course he wises up and decides that he doesn't want to make bad baseball decisions this offseason. And that's as doubtful as Milton Bradley's mental health. Thankfully, Jim has a friend in me.

And while I did read a 1,900 word piece on what the Cubs should do this offseason, I've condensed it and made it better.

1. Sign Chone Figgins. He's proven he can play everyday and he's proven he can be versatile. He switch hits, steals bases and plays second base. Top of the order guy? You betcha!

2. Sign Jose Valverde. Prior to this injury-plagued season, Valverde converted 91 saves. He throws hard and his name is not Kevin Gregg. Need another reason? He owns the Cubs (13 saves, 0.77 ERA) over his career.

3. Bring back Rich Harden. Dick Hardon is 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA, 0.773 WHIP and 55 strikeouts in 44 innings. Once his time comes and Valverde's contract expires, the Cubs can turn him into Trevor Hoffman Part II.

4. Bring bullpen help. Needs include two lefty specialst (Billy Wagner?) and a guy not named Kevin Gregg who can get righties out. Angel Guzman and Carlos Marmol are fine set-up guys. Middle relief has not lived up to its name this season.

5. Give Brandon Webb a chance. There is a possibility that Webb gets bought out from his contract, since he won't be pitching for a good chunk of next year. This is when the Cubs take a flier on him, let him rehab at his own pace. Then bring him out and allow him to torture NL hitters for a long term deal. In the meantime, Sean Marshall or Tom Gorzelanny can have that fifth-starter role.

Other "needs" include: Back-up catcher, fourth outfielder that spends more time on the field than on the DL, a GM that understands how to develop a strong minor league system, a manager who hasn't let the game pass him by.

There, that wasn't painful. All in less than 500 words.