Chicago Cubs: Moving money around won’t be easy for the front office

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: You reap what you sow

Chicago’s front office was bold in inking Chatwood to a three-year, $38 million deal last offseason given his 4.31 lifetime ERA.

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The hope was that his success pitching away from Coors Field would carry over to Chicago, but those wishes were quickly dashed as Chatwood struggled with command issues all season. The 28-year-old posted a 5.30 ERA in 20 starts and led the league with 95 walks.

And with the Cubs picking up Cole Hamels‘ $20 million option and getting a healthy Yu Darvish back in the rotation, Chatwood is suddenly on the outside looking in… but still making his fair share of cash.

Meanwhile, Kintzler was a nightmare in Chicago after coming to the North Side at the trade deadline, posting a 7.00 ERA and 4.5 BB/9 in just 18 innings of work out of the bullpen.

Both players will make a combined $18 million next season, money that the Cubs would undoubtedly love to get off the books. But Chatwood’s command issues and Kintzler’s surprising inconsistency are unlikely to bring many suitors to the table.

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Don’t count on more Theo magic

If the Cubs front office can find a way to shed payroll in order to free up space for Harper, it would be quite the accomplishment.

Jon Lester and Yu Darvish obviously aren’t going anywhere, and trading Jose Quintana does not appear to be in the cards, so there is a shortage of options on the table.

Prior offseason moves paired with poor performances have backed Hoyer and Epstein into a corner, and it is unlikely that opposing teams will be willing to let them out.