Despite what you may want to hear, the Chicago Cubs moving bad contracts isn’t a cut-and-dry process and is far more complicated than you may think.
Chicago Cubs fans felt a buzz of excitement this weekend when reports surfaced that Theo Epstein apparently told Bryce Harper and his agent Scott Boras to check in with the Cubs before making a final decision on where the star free agent would sign.
The Cubs are already on track for a payroll exceeding $220 million in 2019, well over the luxury tax threshold of $206 million.
Harper is unlikely to settle for a short-term deal, and thus a potential signing with the Cubs would also bring a huge cap hit to the organization, making it difficult to get back under that threshold for years to come.
Thus, if they still want to sign the 2015 NL MVP and avoid the steepest of penalties moving forward, Hoyer and Epstein will need to make a series of moves to slash the payroll.
However, the issue lies with the players on Chicago’s roster currently making the most money, because they are unlikely to attract many offers from opposing ball clubs. Most notably, this includes Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Tyler Chatwood and Brandon Kintzler.