Baseball Prospectus updated their team depth chart with new PECOTA information and the Cubs are hands down the class of the simulated National League Central. The Cubs come out with 96 wins and an easy division crown with the Brewers being their closest competition at 83 wins. That's also the best record in the NL and second best in the league behind the 98 imaginary wins that Boston has under their belt.
Replacement Level Yankees blog ran some of their own predictions using The Hardball Times projections back in early January and came up with 91.5 wins for the Cubs. That half win is going to be tough.
It's probably a good time to point out that PECOTA had the Indians winning 92 games last year and Tigers 90, although it did predict the Rays for 90 wins to its credit. I can't seem to find the full 2008 NL Predictions, but it did land the top two spots in the NL Central last year and had 89 wins for the Cubs. I believe it nailed two division winners (Angels and Cubs) and four playoff teams (had Dodgers and Red Sox as the wild card) overall in 2008.
So congrats to the 2009 Cubs - NL Paper Champions!
It appears the Brewers are going to sign Braden Looper
which should throw the whole PECOTA system off its axis(/dripping sarcasm). Also, Rosenthal says Rich Aurilia
took a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants and the article is worded to indicate that he may have had a similar offer by the Cubs and Phillies.