What is the Chicago Cubs payroll this year?

The Chicago Cubs are a big-market team that spends like a mid-market. A look at how they compare to teams across MLB.
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

With Jed Hoyer firmly in control of the Chicago Cubs baseball operation, it would seem the days of team racing out to sign the most lucrative free-agent deal each winter are gone.

The Cubs are going to be opportunistic with the deals that they make in free agency and more times than not, that will lead to the team missing out on top free agents as they did this past offseason with Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

The Cubs want to be strategic with free-agent deals and that will lead to success stories such as their deal with Shota Imanaga. Still, it would seem very unlikely that the Cubs will ever into an offseason where they are favorite to sign the top free agent available.

Chicago Cubs Payroll 2024

The Chicago Cubs have an active payroll of $230,695,863, per Spotrac. As a refresher, the active payroll number includes the injured list, retained payroll, and buried minor league salaries. Yes, the retained payroll means that former Cubs Marcus Stroman, Tucker Barnhart, Brad Boxberger, and Trey Mancini are all still technically on the team's books for this season.

With that number, the Cubs fall within the Top 10 of all of baseball in terms of active payroll commitments. It's also the highest amount within the National League Central with the St. Louis Cardinals falling behind them at $175,545,413.

What is the Luxury Tax Threshold in MLB?

The Chicago Cubs' luxury-tax payroll falls in at $233,200,122, per Spotrac. The amount is determined by the total of the annual average plus benefits and minor league salaries. The Cubs have often viewed the first luxury-tax tier, $237,000,000, as a cap in terms of spending in the offseason and that was the case this season as they left themselves with just under $3.8MM to spend on in-season acquisitions.

Who are the most expensive Chicago Cubs contracts in 2024?

It should be no surprise that the four highest-paid players on the Cubs each represent a member of what the team believes is the next contending core.

Cody Bellinger tops the list as he is set to earn $27.5MM this season after signing a three-year contract with the Cubs worth $80MM this offseason. Bellinger has the opportunity to opt out of his deal after the season but he may not if his struggles continue.

Dansby Swanson is next on the list as he will be earning $26MM this season. Swanson was the Cubs' prized free-agent signing prior to the 2023 season and of the four free-agent shortstops that made up the top of that class, the former Atlanta Braves World Series champion is proving to be the best deal.

Outfielders Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki are next as each player will earn $21MM this season. For Suzuki, $21MM could prove to be a steal if he continues to have an offensive output that is among the best in baseball.