Cubs among most improved teams

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

The 2013 Cubs headed into camp optimistic that things are going to be much better on the North Side this season. The organization made several low risk, high reward moves—picking up players like Edwin Jackson, Scott Baker, Scott Feldman, Carlos Villanueva, Nate Schierholtz, Scott Hairston and Kyuji Fujikawa—that could be difference-makers going forward.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Brian Costa used sabermetric analyst Dan Szymborski’s projection system, ZiPS, to determine how teams fared this offseason, and he projects the Cubs came away as the second most improved team in major league baseball. Looking solely at a player’s projected wins above replacement (WAR), WSJ figures the Cubs added 8.2 wins above an average replacement player.

The Cubs trailed only the Blue Jays, who added 10.7 WAR—mostly the result of a big offseason trade with the Marlins that netted them Josh Johnson, Mark Beuhrle and Jose Reyes. The Indians (7.2), Red Sox (6.3) and Phillies (5.4) rounded out the top five.

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