The St. Louis Cardinals saw some big names leave after the 2011 season, including Tony La Russa and had some key players go down with injury. They also braced for the loss of Albert Pujols and signed rookie manager Mike Matheny. There was a lot of potential instability there, but they went out and won 88 games, and fell one game shy of winning the National League pennant.
As noted by CSN Chicago, the Chicago Cubs can take some cues from the Cardinals. With Theo Epstein in charge of things, this is no surprise, given that the Cardinals are operating on his model. They drafted right, and made sure their pitching was there, even in the face of injuries, as noted by general manager Jed Hoyer:
"(But) look at the Cardinals right now and it's a pretty nice position to be in when they've got guys like Shelby Miller and Rosenthal coming out of the bullpen in the LCS. That's having some organizational depth when a guy like (Jaime) Garcia goes down and you (don't) miss a beat. That's when you know you've drafted well, developed well and made good trades. That's the position we need to be in."
The Cubs want to put that focus in pitching, they want to have that long term stability and get to winning ways. Hoyer goes on to say that it's not a problem they'll fix this offseason, however. He said that, organizationally, it's a three-, four-, five-year project to make sure they have the pitching they need from top to bottom.