You'll never guess where the Cubs wound up in offseason spending this winter

It may seem like Jed Hoyer and the Chicago Cubs play with salaries like a small-market club, but they actually added more payroll this offseason than all but two MLB teams.

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Things have changed quite a bit in the two weeks since the Chicago Cubs signed Cody Bellinger. They went from being considered to have had one of the worst offseasons in baseball to having the most excited fans in the NL Central heading into 2024

During that same time, much more than fan perception changed. The Cubs went from an organization that was seemingly searching through the couch cushions to pay their players to one that a recent ESPN story shows increased their year-over-year payroll by more than every other team in the NL Central… combined.

Only the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros increased their payroll by more than the Cubs going into 2024. By signing left-hander Shota Imanaga and veteran reliever Hector Neris, while also bringing Bellinger back to become the Cubs’ first $30 million AAV player, Chicago has increased its payroll by $34 million over last season.

Cubs outspent the rest of the NL Central by a ridiculous margin

The Cincinnati Reds came in second in the division in terms of payroll increases as theirs jumped by $13 million through the additions of former Cubs infielder Jeimer Candelario, and pitchers Frankie Montas, Nick Martinez, Brent Suter and Emilio Pagan. 

The Pittsburgh Pirates were next, increasing their payroll by $12 million by signing first baseman Rowdy Tellez, catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitchers Marco Gonzales, Martin Perez and Aroldis Chapman. 

The St. Louis Cardinals are up $7 million this year after an abysmal showing in 2023 thanks to the additions of shortstop Brandon Crawford and pitchers Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson.

Finally, the Milwaukee Brewers are actually down a whopping $16 million in payroll despite signing first baseman Rhys Hoskins as well as pitchers Jakob Junis, Wade Miley and Brandon Woodruff. 

Even if you were to remove the negative $16 million that the Brewers bring to the table, the Cubs are increasing their payroll by $2 million more than the other three big spenders in the division combined, and that doesn’t include the massive contract they gave to Craig Counsell.

If you have any friends who say that the Cubs just won’t spend money and are penny-pinching, point them to this payroll and tell them to think again.