Chicago Cubs: Jed Hoyer’s secret weapon will be free agency

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(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs / Jason Heyward
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Chicago Cubs: The money is there if Jed Hoyer decides to get after it

More importantly, the big money contracts on the Cubs – with the lone exception of Jason Heyward – are no more. Kris Bryant was earning $19.5 million this year, Anthony Rizzo $16.5million and Javier Baez $11.65 million. Craig Kimbrel’s salary also comes off the books, who had a $16 million club option for 2022. Simply put, the Cubs have a monstrous amount of payroll coming off the books and they also already sit comfortably below the current $210.0 million luxury tax threshold as it is.

Though it seems like in the recent years, the Cubs haven’t spent on big name stars in free agency, with the most recent big-time signing coming in the form of Kimbrel back in 2019. No one from the core got extended. The Cubs dumped Yu Darvish for peanuts. However, this may simply have all been part of a master plan moving forward.

I highly doubt Hoyer would come flat out and say “We’re going to spend millions this offseason, don’t worry,” but he has hinted at what he has always meant by a re-tool. We’ve been told already this year that “big money spending” will be back soon enough. Cubs fans rolled their eyes. After seeing the team dismantled at the deadline, that disbelief was further reinstated. However, the recent moves the Cubs have made sets them up perfectly in to do just that. It is extremely important to emphasize that the core was just not performing well enough to carry the Cubs deep into October. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez being the fans’ favorite players isn’t enough of a reason to sign them to nine-figure deals.

First things first, Jed did what he had to do for the betterment of the team moving forward. Create the funds available while simultaneously rebuilding the farm system which has drastically improved over the last week. Now, with a multitude of funds available, the regime can stand by and wait for free agency, which features an absolutely loaded class this offseason.