Are the Chicago Cubs past the peak of their competitive window?

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Have we already hit the peak of this Chicago Cubs championship window? With payroll rising and pennies pinched, we could be closer to the end than you think.

Aside from exercising the $20 million team option to bring back Cole Hamels, the front office was obviously pinching pennies this offseason. After years of flirtations by Bryce Harper towards the Cubs, the front office didn’t make a serious effort to sign Harper.

The Cubs have not brought in a veteran backup catcher such as Brian McCann or Rene RiveraMartín Maldonado is still available in free agency. He’s an excellent pitch framer, which Willson Contreras is not. Maldonado is said to be holding out for a Major League contract with just weeks until Opening Day.

If that’s all it would take to get him, then either the front office doesn’t like what he offers, can’t afford even the low price it would take to get him or they simply prefer Victor Caratini better in that role.

This winter brought its share of disappointment, especially given the star-power available on the open market. A tight budget kept the club out of the hunt on virtually every big-name free agent, leading us to wonder: are we now past the peak of Chicago’s championship window?