The Chicago Cubs are beginning to realize something that many have known for a long time: you can’t solve everything with money, despite what fans think.
Contrary to popular belief, the Ricketts Era Chicago Cubs are thriving. The Cubs are challenging every team they step on the field with these days. They were in first place in their division for a good part of this past season and when they dominate games, it’s even more obvious that this is still a very good team with lots of options for the future. Under Tom Ricketts and his family’s ownership of the Chicago Cubs, the team has been a contender the last five seasons.
While the Theo Epstein has made a number of strong deals and trades; lets face it, it’s the money behind his actions that drive the seas of change in the Cubs organization as well as the team. Ricketts has been a president’s dream of an owner, giving Epstein just about everything and everyone he wants including last-minute surges like Cubs scarecrow pitcher Craig Kimbrel last season.
Imagine Epstein going to Ricketts asking for another closer after such a grievous mistake was made with Cubs former missing-in-action closing pitcher Brandon Morrow? Yet Ricketts conceded and gave Epstein more money.
Because just like the millions of Chicago Cubs fans out there, of which he is one, Ricketts wanted the Cubs to win it all again. So Ricketts paid the eight-year, $184 million Jason Heyward contract and the five-year, $15 million David Bote contract and we already mentioned Kimbrel’s deal and even a fine of $6.8 million luxury tax for blowing the salary cap, but now Ricketts has realized: money can’t buy the championship. Ricketts made as much clear on the Mully & Haugh Show, 670 The Score:
"“Obviously the top couple (spending) teams in the league didn’t make the playoffs; we spent more than every team that made the playoffs, probably a couple of those combined.”"
So Ricketts is not afraid of spending the cash for free agents but has learned that he can’t buy a team, he has to build his team. So what are Ricketts top three ways to save his budget?