Hendry: “There’s Never Been Any Talk Of Not Pursuing Free Agents”


The Cubs financial flexibility has been questioned over the past few weeks. The skepticism results from a report that listed the Cubs as one of nine teams that are out of compliance with the MLB’s rules regarding debt. Despite commissoner Bud Selig supporting Tom Ricketts and the Cubs financial state, a report from the Chicago Sun Times indicated the Cubs will struggle to spend money this off-season on free agents. The Cubs have been listed as possible suitors for Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, but, the Cubs financial situation has led some to believe that Fielder and Pujols are not in the plans. Though, generla manager Jim Hendry denied any such idea that the Cubs won’t be able to spend money this off-season.

"Hendry pointed to expansion of the Cubs Dominican facilities and their new complex in Mesa, Ariz. along with increases in the scouting and development budget, as examples of the Ricketts family’s willingness to commit to building the organization.“There’s never been any talk of not pursuing any free agents,” he said. “There are no financial difficulties here with the Ricketts family. And i think it will be a great franchise, and better than it’s ever been, down the road.” Chicago Tribune"

Hendry was very political in his response to the Cubs financial concerns. Just because Hendry says that there’s never been any talk of not pursuing free agents this winter, does not mean you should immediately order your personalized Pujols or Fielder jersey just yet. The Cubs will be able to pursue free agent this winter, though, it would be concerning if they sign a big name free agent. In this case, the only big names on the free agent market this winter are Pujols and Fielder. Both figure to net lucratve deals this winter that gurrantees them $20MM a season. That is what could cause some concern for the Cubs next season.

The current payroll obligations for the Cubs in 2012 stand at $72,600 million. That is a little over $61MM less of what the Cubs opened the 2011 season at yet, $134,004 million. Technically the Cubs could use the $61MM difference this winter to spend on free agents. But with the decrease in attendance and a new focus on player development, that likely won’t be the case. All indications are that the Cubs payroll in 2012 will be around $110,000 million. That would give them around $40MM to spend this winter on free agents.

With $40MM to spend this winter, it would create an issue for the Cubs if they signed Pujols or Fielder. The issue would be that the Cubs would be spending half of their available resources on one player. So the Cubs can afford Pujols or Fielder, but from a baseball perspective, that may not be the best way for the Cubs to spend their money this off-season. Instead, I would expect the Cubs to spend the available $40MM on a vast area of needs, spefically a left handed starting pitcher.


  • Kerry Wood has been placed on a disabled list due to a blisger on his right hand. Jeff Baker has been activated to take the place of Wood on the 25 man roster.
  • Alfonso Soriano could be activated on Wednesday.
  • Marlon Byrd took batting practice today for the first time since being hit in the face with a pitch three weeks ago.