Chicago Cubs: Payroll is all that’s at stake here for the team
According to MLB Trade Rumors projections, the 31-year-old hurler will earn $7.8 million in his final pass through arbitration. That’s a notably steep price for the A’s to pay given his 2019 struggles and the fact they carried an overall payroll of just over $78 million last year.
Small market teams don’t spend 10 percent of their payroll on a single reliever. It’s just not a smart way to run a ball club in today’s world. But a big market team like Chicago, who spent well over $200 million last season, could absorb at least some of that money in a deal.
Of course, a trade depends on what Oakland is looking for: salary relief or talent in return. Rosenthal’s report makes it seem like they want to shed those dollars more than anything else. Which, if you’re the Cubs, could either make things simpler – or, if the team is working on strict payroll limitations, much more harrowing.
If this offseason proves to be as transformative as we’ve been led to believe, all options are on the table – and you can’t sleep on an arm like Treinen who, as mentioned, is just one year removed from a dominant campaign that, if recaptured, could provide a boost to the Cubs bullpen.