Every year MLB Trade Rumors puts together a list of projected arbitration salaries and it’s not just a guessing game. They’ve put together a pretty solid model that’s been quite accurate predicting players’ salaries. You can read their breakdown of they figure out these figures here.

So, here’s what MLBTR has for the 2020 Cubs. There are seven players who are currently arbitration eligible.

  • Kris Bryant – $18.5MM
  • Addison Russell – $5.1MM
  • Javier Baez – $9.3MM
  • Kyle Schwarber – $8.0MM
  • Willson Contreras – $4.5MM
  • Albert Almora – $1.8MM
  • Kyle Ryan – $1.1MM

That’s $48.3 million in projected salaries for those seven players, but right away we should be able to cut off two players from the payroll. Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell have no business being on the team next year. So, that number should go down to about $41.1 million.

Bottom line, the Cubs are going to have about $40-$50 million to spend this offseason before going over the highest luxury tax threshold in payroll. And although the new TV deal might not actually give the front office the huge boost that we all thought it would immediately, the Cubs have said they will still have one of the highest payrolls in 2020.

So, we’ll see how things start when free agency begins in November. The first move? Get rid of Addison Russell. Boom. Save $5 million right away.