I like what we have. I don't think it's anything like a finished product. ... We have some questions to answer. Hopefully we'll get some of those answers in spring training. We may not get all of them answered in spring training. We may have more work to do as we get into the season, evaluate and see how guys respond.Valentine said he wouldn't mind teams having expanded rosters in April as the season begins:
My overall philosophy on that is I wish the roster were extended through April so we could have real competition under the lights and real atmosphere, and not in this sunny park morning baseball/afternoon baseball atmosphere. But I think it's always good for guys to feel they have a chance to work and to make the team, so they work a little harder because the more you work and practice, the better foundation you have to last the entire season. ... I'm looking forward to seeing how it's going to play out. If I had a preconceived notion about what would really happen, then why would we even go to spring training? I've never seen any of the guys ever play other than Punto, or other than on television or in the booth.Cubs president Theo Epstein praised Cherington for his "creative" work this winter:
[He] did a great job executing a strategy of acquiring a couple cost-control, impact pieces for their bullpen in Bailey and Melancon. That frees them up to experiment with Bard as a starter and maybe see what Aceves can do there as well, given they didn't really like the options in the free-agent starting pitching market. The position player group is really solid and with some of the creativity they've shown in building the bullpen it will all come down to the starting pitching ...