4 painful contracts the Chicago Cubs can't dump soon enough

The Chicago Cubs have a few contracts on their payroll that don't look great at the moment
Chicago Cubs v San Diego Padres
Chicago Cubs v San Diego Padres / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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The Chicago Cubs are currently a few million dollars shy of the luxury tax threshold, with a total tax payroll of $232,557,750 according to Spotrac. The team is in relatively good shape in the financial department, with several players like Cody Bellinger and Dansby Swanson making big money while young players are starting to come up and supplement the roster.

But there are several contracts on the books that the team would like to jettison immediately. Unfortunately, the financial commitments on this list add up to more than $37 million and they won't be fulfilled until after the 2024 season. Below are four bad contracts that the Cubs' front office cannot wait to get rid of.

1. Kyle Hendricks: $16.5 million

Everyone in the Cubs' orbit right now knows that Kyle Hendricks is struggling. But what hurts is the fact that he is making $16.5 million this season, which makes him the second-highest-paid pitcher on the team for 2024 behind Jameson Taillon. This money is going to Hendricks via a club option the team picked up in the offseason. A club option that they might already be regretting just a month into the regular season.

Hendricks has given up at least four runs in each of his first five starts to begin the year and he has yet to go past the fifth inning. His ERA for the season sits at a problematic 12.00 and he has already surrendered eight home runs in 21 innings pitched. In 2023, Hendricks gave up a total of 13 long balls over 137 innings.

At 34 years old, Hendricks looks to be running out of gas rather quickly. Without his command, teams can feast on his low-velocity arsenal and every team he's faced so far has done exactly that. Unless he suddenly figures out what adjustments to make, the $16.5 million paycheck will look like a payroll blunder that could have been avoided by not picking up the club option. It's unfortunate because of Hendricks' track record with the team, which obviously included winning a World Series. But the writing seems to be on the wall, and the team put Hendricks on the 15-day injured list on Tuesday afternoon.

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