Chicago Cubs: Strasburg or Cole? Or coal?
Here’s why I’m writing this and why you’re still reading: we need one of the two. Plain and simple. Figure out a way to sign one of these guys and the Cubs have legitimized themselves in a way that hasn’t been done since they signed Big Jon Lester in December of 2014.
Easier said than done.
Per Spotrac, the 2020 Cubs estimated Competitive Balance Payroll is $210 million, as compared to $234 million from this past season. If we work under the assumption that the Cubs want to stay below that number, we can start going to work on proposing ideas for how to free up cash.
The Cubs are staring at a fat bill for 2020 that includes large increases in arbitration spending in addition to nine salaries over $10 million and three over $20 million. However, just because a player is owed a large sum of money in 2020, doesn’t mean the Cubs have to be the ones to pay it.
In addition, roughly $60 million will be shed from the payroll with the expiration of veteran contracts, including Cole Hamels, Ben Zobrist, Brandon Morrow, Pedro Strop, Steve Cishek, and Brandon Kintzler. Not saying the Cubs couldn’t bring some of these guys back, but it would be at a reduced price compared to last season.