Chicago Cubs: 2020 is the most consequential season in a long time

David Ross, Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
David Ross, Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
1 of 3

Theo Epstein, Chicago Cubs (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

As the Chicago Cubs play their first spring training game, this season is likely hugely consequential for the team and the front office.

It has been building toward this point for a while.  Chicago Cubs Theo Epstein pointed that out a couple of weeks ago when he said that they knew the financial limitations were coming as soon as the ink was dry on the 2017-2021 CBA after the 2016 World Series win.

So, here were are. We are facing the most consequential Cubs season since well, maybe forever.  A confluence of circumstances has brought the Cubs to this point.

Chicago Cubs: Finances cramp team again

Not since before Theo Epstein have the Cubs faced a situation where the payroll strained against the moves that needed to be made.  In 2010 the Cubs were loaded with big contracts for Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome, and Ted Lilly. They had the third-highest payroll in baseball and had produced a meager 83-78 record in 2009.

Sound familiar?  If so, it is because it mirrors where the Cubs stand ten years later.  Second highest payroll in baseball? Check. Significant dollar long terms contacts? Check.  Meager record the previous season? Check.

There are significant differences, though.  Most significantly, the young core of the current team has won a World Series.  There are pieces down on the farm, making their way to the Show.  Finally, this front office has upgraded its use of technology and analytics, an area where the Jim Hendry front office was woefully inadequate.