One of the frustrations for Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline has been attempting to make substantial upgrades to the roster despite a number of budgetary constraints.
The absence of financial flexibility was one of the reasons that the Chicago Cubs were relatively inactive this winter. And that shadow still seems to loom large over the organization heading into the final couple months of the 2019 season.
It is a frustrating reality to have to accept that payroll concerns are dictating Chicago’s potential to improve as a ball club. At the same time, owner Tom Ricketts indeed approved a record payroll that reaches almost $230 million this season.
There are arguments to be made on both sides. The Boston Red Sox won a World Series in part because of their willingness to go over the luxury tax last season. But not every owner is comfortable with the possibility of paying a perpetual penalty.
What is clear, however, is that the Cubs will have a new level of financial freedom this winter, with the potential to shake things up.