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Dusty Baker: Cubs Can Compete In Tough NL Central

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Aramis Ramirez

Aramis Ramirez (Photo Credit: Getty Images, By: Jonathan Daniel)

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Dusty Baker knows what it’s like to try and get the Chicago Cubs to the playoffs. Baker managed the Cubs from 2000-06 and guided them to the NLCS during the 2003 season.

The offseason was good to the Cubs and the NL Central. The Cubs, Brewers and Cardinals all made move to improve their rosters. The result of those additions shoudl make for a more competitive division.

“Our division is tougher. The Cubs are better, they have picked up some pitching, and they’ve got some healthy pitching coming back, and they have some new players,” Baker told the Chicago Tribune.

The Cubs traded for Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Garza and also signed Rays first baseman Carlos Pena and former Cubs’ pitcher Kerry Wood on the free agent market.

The St. Louis Cardinals acquired Ryan Theriot and Lance Berkman. And the Milwaukee Brewers added starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum while also re-signing slugger to a one-year contract.

“Our division is going to be one of the tougher divisions,” Baker told the Tribune. “Seems like whoever was trading somebody was trading to our division. It’s going to be a tough fight; it’s going to be a tough division. But, hey, that’s what it’s all about.”

If the Cubs are able to compete for the division title it will undoubtedly be a result of the managing of Mike Quade.

“I know Quade,” Baker said. “He’s a good guy. He did a good job for them when Lou [Piniella] stepped down at the end of the year. I mean, they played well under him. It’s a long year, man, and a lot of things can happen.”

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