By Jon Heyman-

MESA, Az. ( Famous for being great about once a half-century or so, the Cubs are primed to contend again in the not-too-distant future. It may not be this year, or even next. But sometime soon.

“I’m not going to put years on it, but it’s going to be really good when it comes together,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said.

Things are looking up, and not only because it would be near-to-impossible to go down. The Cubs lost 101 games in the first year of the Epstein/Jed Hoyer regime, posting a worse record than any Cubs team since 1966 and everyone but the stripped-down Astros. But to be fair, things didn’t get out of hand until they traded two starters (Paul Maholm and Ryan Dempster), lost one to injury (Matt Garza) and shut down a fourth, their new ace (Jeff Samardzija).

Realistically, the Cubs had enough talent last year to lose only 95, maybe 90, and they’re a bit better than that now. An even bigger plus: the talent base is expanding, suggesting future success.

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