Tom Ricketts said the quiet part out loud regarding Chicago Cubs spending

Tom Ricketts continues to prove why the Chicago Cubs are just a line item on his general ledger.

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

With the Chicago Cubs' caution at pursuing top free agents being described as "intelligent spending" by Jed Hoyer, the cynical thinking was that Hoyer was falling on the sword for an ownership mandate that has been in place since the 2018 season.

There will be off-seasons where an opportunity arises with the Cubs' spending philosophy, Dansby Swanson's seven-year deal last winter, but Jason Heyward was the last time that the Cubs jumped ahead of the market in terms of signing a top free agent player.

That is a concerning fact for the Cubs and in his latest scrum with reporters, team chairman Tom Ricketts appears to have revealed the worst-kept secret, he is comfortable with running the Cubs like a mid-market team. Among the revealing comments made by Ricketts, the team chairman proudly boasted that the team was "right there" with where the luxury tax threshold lies with Major League Baseball.

The first level of the luxury tax threshold is $237MM. As the Cubs' roster currently stands, their payroll is at approximately $204MM for the 2024 season. The $33MM in space between where the Cubs' payroll is currently and where the first level of the luxury tax is not something that can be described as saying the team is "right there". That comment from Ricketts is as laughable as saying the Cubs are "right there" with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Gone are the days where the Chicago Cubs will be swimming in the deepest waters of MLB Free Agency.

Ricketts is comfortable with the Cubs giving off the faintest scent of contention and that is why there will never be an urgency from the team's ownership group to spend aggressively, especially when you consider the fact that they already have the World Series title.

With each passing day, it's becoming clear that the next Cubs' contending window will be propped open by the success of their minor-league system and not spending in free agency to supplement what the roster's needs may be.

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