Cubs reportedly have room for midseason payroll additions

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Tom Ricketts and Jed Hoyer are giving me whiplash when it comes to the direction of the Chicago Cubs baseball operations department and its budget.

After slashing the payroll with a machete via the Yu Darvish trade, non-tendering of Kyle Schwarber and decision to let Jon Lester depart for the Washington Nationals, Hoyer got added funds in the final month of the offseason and promptly went out and added Joc Pederson to replace Schwarber in left field.

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He also brought back former Cubs hurler and NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta on a deal that left some scratching their heads. But, if nothing else, it told us Chicago had funds to spend. Or, rather, Ricketts was giving Hoyer funds that were always there but he’d previously decided to hold onto.

"“The potential is always there,” Hoyer told The Athletic (subscription required)this weekend. “We’re going to learn a lot about the finances over the course of the next few months. What percentage of fans, when things open up, those are all real questions that we’re still figuring out. You want to be on that side of the equation, for sure. That’s where we would like to be. If we play well and there’s clear things we need to do to add to the team, then I’m confident we’ll be able to do that.”"

I’d be pretty floored if Chicago wound up adding at the deadline, regardless of where this team is in the standings. Again, that could also depend on whether or not Hoyer is successful in negotiating extensions with any of the team’s free agent-to-bes in the coming weeks.

Cubs are focused on the future this season – end of story

But if the Cubs are middling in mediocrity and treading water, Hoyer has to do what’s best and look toward the future. Getting into the postseason isn’t enough – especially if it means you’re sacrificing a potential return in a trade of someone like Kris Bryant.

Next. Cubs are planning on fans in the stands on Opening Day. dark

If Zach Davies or Jake Arrieta turn in a dazzling first half, you mean to tell me Hoyer won’t shop those guys? They’re both on one-year deals and pitching is always at a premium. Those are just speculative examples, but what I’m saying is while the Cubs are surely aiming to compete, this front office isn’t going to accept backing into a postseason spot over loading up for another sustained run of success.