Chicago Cubs failed at the one true advantage they have over the NL Central rivals

Discover why the Chicago Cubs' off-season spending has been a cause for concern.

Chicago Cubs Introduce Shōta Imanaga
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Regardless of the product on the field, there is never supposed to be an off-season where the Chicago Cubs are not the team that spent the most in the division.

The Milwaukee Brewers have accepted their fate as a small market team and it worked because of the manager they had in their clubhouse, Craig Counsell. Counsell is entering his first season as the Cubs' manager and outside of the $40MM, one of the reasons he joined the team is because of the increase in resources that he would have at his disposal.

From a financial perspective, that has not proved to be the case in Counsell's first off-season as the Cubs' manager.

In his latest episode of Foul Territory, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal shed light on the spending from the National League Central teams this winter.

There should not be an off-season where the Cincinnati Reds outspend the Cubs. The Reds are a team littered with top prospects that have reached the Major League level and they spent money this off-season ahead of what could be an extra season of contention, much like it was for the Cubs in 2015.

There will be times when the Cardinals open their wallets but the $105MM they spent this off-season, at minimum, should be the floor for the Cubs' off-season spending.

For as much as the old adage is the Cubs will just outspend any team in their division, that hasn't been the case this winter and that is a problem. Despite the spending from the Reds and Cardinals, the division remains open for the Cubs to take control of.

The caveat to all of this is that the argument could be made that the Cubs haven't made their primary off-season acquisition yet. Assuming the Cubs are able to sign one of Cody Bellinger, Matt Chapman, or Blake Snell, the value of that potential contract would likely move the team's off-season spending past the Reds.

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