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updated: 3/30/2013 7:24 PM

Several Cubs could soon eclipse milestones

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  • Alfonso Soriano, right, is 28 homers shy of 400 in his career. He also needs 11 homers to reach 175 with the Cubs and pass Andre Dawson for 12th all time on the team's list.

      Alfonso Soriano, right, is 28 homers shy of 400 in his career. He also needs 11 homers to reach 175 with the Cubs and pass Andre Dawson for 12th all time on the team's list.
    Associated Press


The Cubs make it easy to track the milestones within reach for the players.

Right there on Page 10 of their new media guide is a section on "Milestones within reach in 2013."

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Some are more significant than others, but the one theme that jumps out at me as I look them over is how many of these players still will be Cubs if and when they reach these career milestones. So let's have a look.

Alfonso Soriano:

There a several magic numbers within reach, the most significant being 400 career home runs. Once upon a time, 400 homers got you into the Hall of Fame.

No more.

Billy Williams is in with 426, and Andre Dawson is in with 438.

On the other hand, Fred McGriff is on the outside looking in -- for now -- with 493.

Soriano likely is not going to the Hall of Fame, but he is 28 homers shy of 400. He also needs 11 homers to reach 175 with the Cubs, to pass Dawson for 12th all time on the team's list. At 180, Soriano would pass Derrek Lee for 11th, and with 191 homers as a Cub, Soriano would pass Hack Wilson for 10th.

Chances of reaching 400 in 2013: The 37-year-old Soriano is in good physical shape, so the chances are good he gets there this year.

Chances of reaching 400 as a Cub: Soriano has 10-and-5 rights and must approve any trade involving him. He's stated a preference for staying in Chicago, so again, we'll say chances are good he gets to 400 in a Cubs uniform.

Carlos Marmol:

The erratic reliever needs seven games to reach 459 pitched for the Cubs, putting him ahead of Lee Smith for second all time. He also needs 19 saves to reach 134 for the Cubs and pass Bruce Sutter for second on the Cubs.

Chances of reaching 459 games and 134 saves in 2013: Marmol certainly will reach the games-pitched number. Until the Cubs decide otherwise, he's still the closer. He had 20 saves last year, so the chances are about 50-50 on this one.

Chances of reaching milestones with Cubs: Surely, Marmol will pitch enough games to reach 459 with the Cubs. The saves question is iffy. If the Cubs are out of the race by midseason, the Cubs will trade him. Or if Marmol loses his job to Kyuji Fujikawa, he may never get it back.

We'll give him a 40 percent chance of hitting the saves milestone with the Cubs.

David DeJesus:

The center fielder and main on-base threat for the Cubs needs 14 RBI to reach 500 for his career. That should be a no-brainer.

Chances of reaching 500 RBI while a Cub: DeJesus should hit this mark as a Cub, but he will be a prime candidate to be traded if the Cubs are out of the race at midseason.

Matt Garza:

The hyperactive right-hander needs 135 strikeouts to reach 1,000 for his career. He pitched in 18 games last year, striking out 96 in 103 innings before a "stress reaction" in his pitching elbow shut him down in July.

Garza also needs 30 games to reach 200 pitched for his career.

Chances of reaching 1,000 strikeouts and 200 games in 2013: Garza won't pitch until May as he recovers from a lat-muscle injury, so the 30 games are out of the question. If he gets back into action before May 15, the 135 strikeouts are a good bet.

Chances of reaching milestones as a Cub: Garza enters the final year of his contract. Because of the injuries, talk of a contract extension has pretty much died off.

We'll give it very little chance Garza reaches the 200-games-pitched mark as a Cub and only a slightly higher chance he reaches the strikeouts total.

Like Marmol, Garza is a prime candidate to be traded by July 31 if he is healthy.

Edwin Jackson:

The No. 2 starter on the staff behind Jeff Samardzija needs 31 strikeouts to reach 1,000 for his career.

Chances of reaching 1,000: Easy. Jackson could reach the mark by the end of April.

Chances of hitting milestone as a Cub: No-brainer.

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