Well, hopefully it’s not one year too late and another wasted chance at winning a title, but according to Cubs president of business operations, Crane Kenney, the front office will have a lot of new money to spend this upcoming offseason.
That was pretty much the number one storyline around the Cubs this past offseason, when they entered the winter as perceived suitors for Bryce Harper and top free agent relievers. But then fans quickly found out that ownership put up the stop sign and had a tight budget, meaning they settled on Daniel Descalso and Brad Brach as their big free agent signings.
Tom Ricketts said there was no more money to spend and Theo Epstein blamed himself, saying previous money allocation hurt offseason plans. But of course after the Yu Darvish contract in 2018, Epsetin still made it sound like the team would be given flexibility to go out and sign a star (Bryce Harper) but ultimately that wasn’t the case.
Yet, things will be different heading into 2020 because the Cubs are going to launch their own TV Network and with it comes more money.
The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney spoke with Kenney about the new network and Kenney made it clear. There will be money.
Via The Athletic.
“Those additional resources are available immediately next year,” Kenney said. “The team has a rights fee significantly higher than what they’re receiving today, so that’s from the start. Then there’s the question on the network side of what profits are enjoyed, if any, (so) they could also be used for investment in the team or other assets around the ballpark or other interests of the (Ricketts) family. That’s probably a little further down the road. But from the team’s perspective, the rights agreement that they’ve got in place with (Marquee) will give them more resources next year than they had today.”
All righty, then. We have that on record now, so Ricketts can’t pull the same stunt next offseason and say there isn’t any more money.
The biggest winners might end up being some players who are already with the Cubs. Next year’s free agent class isn’t nearly as good as this past offseason, so maybe Kris Bryant, Javier Báez, Willson Contreras or Anthony Rizzo get a contract extension.
Right now, the best free agent after this season will either be starting pitcher Gerrit Cole or third baseman Anthony Rendon.
As far as the Cubs current roster, Ben Zobrist and Cole Hamels will be the two highest paid players who will become free agents after 2019. The Cubs also have several club options that they potentially won’t pick up, the biggest being Brandon Morrow.
So, more money, plus a big chunk of payroll coming off the books as well. We’ll see what the front office does with the new resources.