Chicago Cubs: Cubs have big money to spend this offseason
The Chicago Cubs showed a willingness to spend some money the last few seasons. When 2017 is over, they will have plenty in the bank.
It is early, I know. The season is not over yet. But, conversation about what the Chicago Cubs need in order to compete next year are already starting. They actually started before the 2017 season began. And, before the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Theo Epstein and staff showed they were willing to spend a few dollars.
Well, after this season, they will have plenty of money in the back to use on players.
Currently, the Cubs’ payroll is just over $181 million, which is ninth in MLB. The Los Angeles Dodgers lead the league with a current payroll of almost $260 million. The good news in terms of next season is that some major contracts are coming off the books. Take a look at what Spotrat.com documents.Players2017 salaryJohn Lackey
Room to spend
With that alone, the Chicago Cubs have room to make a major move. Should Lackey re-sign with team, it will not be for $16 million. Montero and Anderson are already gone. Uehara is likely out as well.
The others, who knows.
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There is more good news. Take off the remaining small contracts, the payroll for the 2018 Cubs starts at a whopping $94 million. That is fourteenth in baseball. Teams like the San Francisco Giants ($180m), Dodgers ($177m), Washington Nationals ($144m), and St. Louis Cardinals ($117m) are already significantly higher.
This means the Cubs can be major players this offseason.
The players the Chicago Cubs use that money on is a completely different story. To be honest, looking at the list of potential free agents is not that impressive. And, the Cubs needs are not that great.
Of course, starting pitching is always a need. Arrieta is the pitcher that the Cubs need, and they should do everything they can to keep him. With almost $90 million in space compared to this year, a $25 million contract may well be within their bank account. However, market value according to Spotract, is $29 million.
No other names really jump off the page as true Cubs targets. Lance Lynn has the best ERA of all starting pitchers that will be free agents. Tampa Bay pitcher Alex Cobb is having a great season, and only makes $4.2 million this year. Or maybe 11-game winner (so far) Jhoulys Chacin is even more of a bargin.
What about relievers? Tommy Hunter could be valuable. Maybe even Yusmeiro Petit. But, the team really needs to re-sign Wade Davis and Brian Duensing.
As for the infield and outfield, those seem rather stable. And, Willson Contreras is set at catcher. The only thing they need is a back-up catcher, and Avila is proving worthy.
There is one thing that really complicates things for the Chicago Cubs. Salary arbitration. The first wave of young players hit their initial year of arbitration. Kris Bryant, Kyle Hendricks and Addison Russell are all up for arbitration. And they will receive a significant raise. Or they should.
Let’s say, however, that the combination Bryant, Hendricks, and Russell receive contracts that equal $20 million combined. The Cubs will still have room for other things. Even signing Arrieta to a $30 million deal is possible. Therefore, based off of the 2017 payroll and 2018 expectations, the Cubs still have $40 million in room.
Next: Addison Russell nearing a return to big-league club
That could go a long way towards any of the holes the team must fill.