Chicago Cubs offseason news, rumors, 2023 payroll and more

Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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After missing the postseason for the second consecutive season in 2022, the Chicago Cubs enter the offseason with the goal of returning to contention in 2023. Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer has insisted that the team will be active in free agency this offseason with the emphasis being on spending intelligently. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has backed Hoyer's statements by saying that the team will have plenty of resources at their disposal this offseason.

There is no question that the goal has certainly shifted for the Cubs this offseason. When the Cubs traded away their 2016 World Series winning core at the Major League Baseball trade deadline in 2021, it was clear that the team was going all out in their efforts to rebuild the farm system. There efforts were not for naught as the 2023 season saw breakout performances in their minor league system from the likes of Pete Crow-Armstrong, Alexander Canario, Caleb Killian, and Hayden Wesneski.

Coupling the breakout performances from the Cubs top prospects combined with the team's second half record of 39-31 in 2022 and there is a clear sense that the timeline for the Cubs to return to contention at the Major League level has moved up.

The biggest area of need for the Cubs as they enter the offseason is on offense. Willson Contreras will likely be playing elsewhere after declining the qualifying offer that the Cubs extended him and for a team that already struggled to score runs, losing their primary offensive contributor from last season is going to heighten that need.

Time will tell in regard to how active the Cubs will be this offseason but for now, lets take a look at where things stand with the team. Here at Cubbies Crib, we're going to keep a tracker of all the news, rumors, and transactions that fans need to know for the remainder of the offseason.

Cubs 2023 Payroll Information

Cubs 2023 active payroll as of today: $92,460,000


Cubs 2023 projected payroll ceiling: $141,853,345

Cubs' payroll information via Spotrac

Cubs 2022-2023 Transactions

  • Cubs released outfielder Michael Hermosillo
  • Cubs released left-handed pitcher Sean Newcomb
  • Catcher Willson Contreras declines qualifying offer
  • Left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly declines mutual option for 2023
  • OF Jason Heyward released unconditionally
  • IF/OF Miles Mastrobuoni was acquired from Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for pitching prospect Alfredo Zarraga
  • DH Franmil Reyes elected free agency after being outrighted from the 40-man roster
  • LHP Steven Brault elected free agency after being outrighted from the 40-man roster
  • RHP Alec Mills elected free agency after being outrighted from the 40-man roster
  • LHP Brad Wieck elected free agency after being outrighted from the 40-man roster
  • RHP Rowan Wick and the Chicago Cubs agreed on a 1-year deal to avoid arbitration
  • RHP Adrian Sampson and the Chicago Cubs agreed on a 1-year deal to avoid arbitration
  • 2B/3B Rylan Bannon claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves

Cubs offseason rumors

Cubs arbitration eligible players (and salaries for 2023)

  • OF Ian Happ - $10.6 MM
  • SS Nico Hoerner - $2.2MM
  • RHP Codi Heuer - $800K
  • 2B Nick Madrigal - $1.1MM

Cubs Free Agents Lost

  • C Willson Contreras - Declined Qualifying Offer
  • LHP Wade Miley - Free Agent
  • LHP Drew Smyly - Declined mutual option for 2023
  • LHP Sean Newcomb - Free Agent
  • OF Michael Hermosillo - Free Agent
  • DH Franmill Reyes - Elected Free Agency
  • LHP Steven Brault - Elected Free Agency
  • LHP Brad Wieck - Elected Free Agency
  • LHP Alec Mills - Elected Free Agency
  • CF Rafael Ortega - Non-Tendered
  • LHP Brailyn Marquez - Non-Tendered
  • RHP Alexander Vizcaino - Non-Tendered

Cubs Top Prospects for 2023

  1. OF Pete Crow-Armstrong
  2. OF Brennan Davis
  3. OF Kevin Alcantara
  4. RHP Cade Horton
  5. LHP Jordan Wicks
  6. SS Cristian Hernandez
  7. RHP Ben Brown
  8. LHP Jackson Ferris
  9. OF Alexander Canario
  10. OF Owen Caissie

Rankings provided by MLB Pipeline

We'll be updating this tracker throughout the offseason.

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