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My $33 Chicago Baseball Dream Team

Recently, a tweet surfaced listing all-time greats at each position with a dollar value. It asked if you had $33, what would your team be. NBC Sports Chicago took that idea and ran with an all-Chicago baseball option.

Now I can get into this, and decided to make a lineup of my own with the $33 budget. But…my team couldn’t include White Sox, so I thought maybe it’ll be a little tougher. In reality it wasn’t. Without further ado, here’s my $33 Chicago CUBS dream team.

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LEFT FIELD
KYLE SCHWARBER ($2)

How did I build this team? Well, I started by your standard reading from top to bottom, left to right. It worked out this way with no tweaks, and it started with Schwarber. Sure, his fielding is average to below average, and I’m hoping the bat comes around. Soriano seemed a reach for $5, and maybe his defensive liabilities (remember the hop catch?) still leave a bad taste in my mouth. The only other Cubs option was Moises Alou at $3. My two bucks is with Schwarbs. This was a pretty easy pick.

CENTER FIELD
DEXTER FOWLER ($3)

Speaking of easy picks, this wasn’t difficult at all. Fowler was the only Cubs centerfielder among the five options. At $3, seemed a bargain as well…at least for the Fowler that we had in Chicago.

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RIGHT FIELD

SAMMY SOSA ($5)

My first big spend is on “Slammin” Sammy. This may have been the first position to reconsider based on value if I ran over-budget. Jason Heyward has under-performed with the Cubs, but if I needed the extra cash, I’d take J-Hey for a buck. Kosuke Fukudome does nothing for me at $3. By the way, Cubs, BRING BACK SAMMY!

THIRD BASE
KRIS BRYANT ($4)

This was another simple answer for me, and I assume Bryant is below Aramis Ramirez just because KB’s service time is less than A-Ram’s to this point. The other Cub here is Luis Valbuena (rest in peace), who played for the Cubs during the dark days.

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SHORTSTOP

STARLIN CASTRO ($3)

The two highest priced shortstops here were White Sox players, and Castro is here at the $3 mark. The only other Cub is Ryan Theriot. He was a nice player, but I was never a big “The Riot,” fan and even less so with his remarks after leaving the organization for the enemy Cardinals.

SECOND BASE

JAVIER BAEZ ($5)

I’m biased. I saw Baez and said, “SHARPIE.” I didn’t even have to look passed his $5 price tag. Ben Zobrist and Mark DeRosa were the other Cubs to consider…which I didn’t.

FIRST BASE

DERREK LEE ($3)

Who else thinks this is a steal for D-Lee at three bucks?! I love Anthony Rizzo, but dang that $5 price tag isn’t worth it in my opinion…especially with Lee for three. The “crime dog” Fred McGriff is a bargain at a buck, though he was post-prime when in Chicago.

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STARTING PITCHER
JAKE ARRIETA ($1)

Much like my Baez selection, I noticed Arrieta’s name in the (1) dollar menu. SOLD! Really? Jake for a George Washington? Is this a typo? I didn’t even consider the other Cubs options here: Carlos Zambrano ($4) and Jose Quintana ($2).

CLOSER

RYAN DEMPSTER ($2)

Only two options for Cubs here, and my money is not with Carlos Marmol, that’s for sure. My fingernails are still growing back from watching him pitch 9th innings in a Cubs uniform. I’ll buy Dempster as long as he leaves that Harry Caray schtick at home.

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CATCHER

WILLSON CONTERAS ($3)

This was the first difficult decision. At this point my total spend is at $28 before choosing a catcher and designated hitter. The Cubs are well represented behind the plate with four options: Geovany Soto ($4), Willy C ($3), Michael Barrett ($2), and Welington Castillo ($1). My first pick is Contreras, but if I needed the extra dollar I’d take Barrett. If more money was needed, I’d have to start over. So, I looked over at the DH spot, and was pleasantly surprised.

DESIGNATED HITTER

MARK GRACE ($2)

I was able to pick my lineup in one foul swoop. The Cubs options at DH were down to two: Corey Patterson ($3) and Mark Grace ($2). Is that really a choice? Since this is based on WAR from 2000-2018, Grace was obviously at the end of his career so those numbers are much lower. Gracey for two, and my lineup is set!

That was fun. I’d love to see a 1990’s version, or better yet a 1980’s version. Maybe I’ll come up with one on a rainy day…or if we experience another Polar Vortex!

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