Theo Epstein: Cubs have payroll flexibility to add pieces


Thanks to a plethora of young prospects, Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein says that the team has payroll flexibility in the years to come, meaning several major pieces could be added to the mix.

"“I think because we have so many young players that are going to be cost-controlled over the next several seasons, we have tremendous flexibility built into our roster as it is,” Epstein said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. “We’ll be able to field a pretty good nucleus with a very low payroll associated with that."

Some of the notable prospects added to the big league roster this season include Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara, Jorge Soler and Kyle Hendricks. Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago explained why these younger talents will be more of a cost-effective option for the organization – at least for the time being: players in years three through six are arbitration eligible. Once reaching free agency, costs continue to skyrocket.

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The renovation of Wrigley Field and the new television deal expected to take effect in 2019 will also play a major role in the increased financial flexibility of the organization moving forward. That being said, there’s no rush to make a move this offseason, according to Epstein.

"“I never look at any one offseason as a time that we have to do something,” Epstein said earlier Wednesday during the “Carmen & Jurko Show” on ESPN Chicago 1000. “I look at offseasons and trade deadlines and future offseasons together. Looking at the next 24 or 18 months, I think you’ll see us add impact starting pitching from outside the organization. The major league starting pitching free-agent market is pretty good. The free-agent class is more pitching-rich than position player-rich this offseason. And, frankly, the class after that is even more impressive in the 2015-2016 offseason.”"

It might not be this fall or even this winter. But with major free agent classes taking shape, expect the Cubs to make some major splashes in the years to come as revenue streams open up and the payroll flexibility increases.