Chicago Cubs: Breaking down LCS teams and their payroll

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Chicago Cubs – $133,193,810

Cost Per Win: $1,373,132

Last winter, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer signaled the end of the rebuild, or at least the end of languishing in the cellar of the National League Central, when they signed free agent left-hander Jon Lester, brought in Miguel Montero and traded for veteran outfielder Dexter Fowler.

What followed was historic: the Cubs won 97 games, the third-best record in all of baseball, but unfortunately the third-best record in the Central. They defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates on the road in the one-game NL Wild Card play-in contest before taking care of St. Louis in four games in the NLDS.

Like the Mets, Chicago benefits greatly from the inexpensive nature of most of their key players. Jake Arrieta is by far the most glaring example of this; despite being a front-runner for the National League Cy Young, the right-hander made just $3.63 million this season – less than Tsuyoshi Wada, who spent most of the year at Triple-A Iowa.

The front office helped control costs long-term when they locked up Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro to team-friendly, long-term deals in recent years; moves like this allowed Epstein and Hoyer to give Lester the richest deal in team history, with a total 2015 value of $20 million.

With Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell all making less than $1 million this season, flexibility abounds – for now. But, as with the Mets’ young pitching, this roster will get pricey in years to come.

Next: Toronto Blue Jays