Chicago Cubs: Frugal offseason approaches didn’t matter in the end

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) /

Cubs won a division title, but were never serious World Series contenders

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After eclipsing the luxury tax threshold in 2019, we knew the front office was essentially operating under a mandate to get under that number in 2020. So the offseason was once again quiet at the team’s Gallagher Way offices – with only minimal changes to the roster of the first-year manager Ross.

Steven Souza Jr. marked the team’s largest free agent signing – at one year, $1 million. The Cubs picked up options on Jose Quintana and Anthony Rizzo, while losing a bevy of guys, including fan favorite Nicholas Castellanos, Cole Hamels, Cishek, Brandon Kintzler and Pedro Strop.

So the team ran it back, yet again, knowing full well they were playing with a flawed roster, especially in terms of its offensive makeup. Ross guided Chicago to a division crown in the unprecedented 60-game campaign – but, once again, it was clear the Cubs weren’t the real deal.

Where does this leave a team that seems stuck in limbo? Well, according to the Associated Press, Chicago finished with the fifth-highest payroll in MLB this year – behind the likes of the Dodgers, Yankees, Mets and Astros. They exceeded the luxury tax threshold despite their penny-pinching ways. But at the end of it all, the chaos of 2020 looks like it’ll be their saving grace after all.