Unless Cubs GM Jim Hendry makes some significant moves this off season, the Cubs rotation for next year could be really bad.

In fact, the Cubs top starter looks to be Ryan Dempster, who would be a fourth or fifth starter on any other “contending” club.

Of course, that is assuming the Cubs will be contenders next season, an assumption that is not likely to be realized.

Even in an average rotation, one would have to look long and hard to find a worse number one than Dempster.

Dempster isn’t bad, mind you, but he just isn’t an ace despite being paid like one.

Meanwhile, how does a rotation of Dempster, Randy Wells, Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Silva and Tom Gorzelanny grab you?

Yeah, I thought so.

None of us know what to expect out of Zambrano. But if his current starts are any indication, he is not only a bad character, his velocity is down and he looks to be washed up at such a young age.

Plus, who is to say that Big Z will even be with the club next year? You know they would love to move him, only his outrageous contract and no-trade clause will prevent that from happening.

Wells is an enigma who is not blessed with enormous talent, so he has to have perfect control to be effective. I doubt he will ever be more than a fifth starter candidate.

Silva, meanwhile, is returning to the awful ways of his career. He is a bad pitcher who got off to an incredible start. Only his huge contract prevents the club from releasing his fat ass.

And Gorzelanny? Um, does he really do it for you? He shows flashes of being an acceptable fifth starter but there is no guarantee.

Since the Cubs have only one position available in which to upgrade their miserable offense (first base), don’t expect the team to be able to deal with a lack of quality pitching.

Look, the bullpen, aside from Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol, is basically nonexistent.

All this combines to create a gloomy forecast for 2011.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but things don’t look good, fellow Cubs fans. And the rotation leads the way.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com