Cubs' rank in free agent spending so far this winter might surprise you

MLB at Field of Dreams: Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds
MLB at Field of Dreams: Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Remember a couple weeks ago when we got a report raising the possibility the Cubs could land not one, but two of the top four free agent shortstops paired with another detailing the front office having a 'green light' to spend big? Yeah, those were the days.

Three of those four free agents shortstops have already inked deals with new clubs, leaving Dansby Swanson - who was widely regarded as the lowest-impact of the four - on the open market and putting Chicago in an unenviable position of their own making.

Cubs have backed themselves into a corner on multiple fronts

To this point, Cody Bellinger and Jameson Taillon are the only signficant signings Jed Hoyer has made this offseason and to say Cubs fans are over it is putting it mildly. I can't recall a point in the last decade where frustrations have been at this level - and even if they sit on their hands and fail to improve this roster in a substantive way, I already know how they'll defend themselves.

Hoyer and ownership will say, "See? We were among the top 10 spenders when it comes to free agency this winter and that shows we're committed to building the next great Cubs team here on the North Side."

Never mind the fact the bottom third of that list is largely comprised of the bottom feeders and cellar dwellers of the league. And please, by all means, look past the fact other large market franchises like the Mets, Giants, Yankees and Phillies spent hundreds of millions more. And that the roster, at least as currently constructed, is in no way improved over the one that took the field in 2022.

Next. At least the Cubs did something right with the Bellinger deal. dark

Yes, the Cubs rank ninth in free agent spending so far this winter and we're not even to January yet. But that tells just a fraction of the story for an organization that looks lost, without an actionable plan to get things back on track anytime soon. The gap between the top spenders and the Cubs is embarrassing - and barring a dramatic and wildly creative back half of the winter, this team will be poised for a third consecutive midseason sell-off.