The Cubs Saved a Whole Lotta Money in Their Trades This Year

Other than that fleeting second of pleasure when the Cubs had been in first place close to the tip of June, most of our consideration and hope for the subsequent aggressive Cubs crew got here lengthy after the Commerce Deadline, and now revolves largely across the expectedly ample payroll house that should be available this offseason. The Cubs could be aggressive in 2022, nevertheless it’s gonna take some sensible, however sizable, spending this offseason.

We haven’t dug into the nitty-gritty simply but, however my back-of-the-napkin math (together with the early arb-estimates, a full 40-man roster, and all participant advantages/insurance coverage) has the Cubs’ 2022 payroll proper round $75 million as presently constructed. That leaves a LOT of room to spend, even when the Cubs determine to ramp again as much as their beforehand ranges “intelligently” … (a.okay.a. slowly).

However one other part of this dialogue has seemingly gone missed. I’m not saying it’s a MAJOR portion of the dialogue, nevertheless it’s at the least price noting shortly in a publish at present. And that’s how a lot the Cubs have *saved* this previous season when it comes to {dollars} they’d beforehand deliberate to spend. We’re speaking about budgets, in spite of everything, and final 12 months’s was not blown out.

Keep in mind, the Cubs traded away 9 massive league gamers in July, and whereas not each deal made a major monetary affect, the sum of the whole {dollars} saved is probably going way more than you understand.

The trades involving Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javy Báez, Trevor Williams, Craig Kimbrel, Ryan Tepera, Joc Pederson, Andrew Chafin, and Jake Marisnick, even after accounting for cash the Cubs ate to facilitate higher prospect returns, saved the Cubs roughly $19.3 million within the 2021 funds by my calculation. And keep in mind, each Jed Hoyer and Crane Kenney repeatedly said earlier within the 12 months that the group had the flexibility to add payroll throughout commerce season if the crew’s efficiency justified it. So it’s not as if the commerce financial savings had been mandatory to satisfy the anticipated funds. It was simply straight up financial savings.

(Heck, if you wish to take a step additional, you might add the $10 million saved by Theo Epstein’s early resignation. To that finish, particularly, the Cubs would doubtless level to the truth that Jed Hoyer was promoted into Epstein’s job with a increase and that the remainder of these specific financial savings had been used to retain entrance workplace personnel they’d in any other case “should” let go … however I’d simply as rapidly level to the truth that they didn’t rent a GM till, effectively, just now and laid off 100+ employees in the wake of the pandemic anyway … so let’s simply name it a wash and choose that $19.3 million price of player-only financial savings.)

So what can we do with this data? Effectively, with out realizing exactly what the Cubs take into consideration for a 2022 payroll, it’s troublesome to get too particular, however we are able to use their very own feedback and historical past to attract some basic conclusions.

For instance, do you keep in mind the Cubs’ failed pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka back in 2014? After lacking out on that big-money worldwide free agent, then-Cubs president Theo Epstein mentioned the concept of rolling over those previously earmarked funds into future extra spending. That additionally tracked with Tom Ricketts’ frequent chorus of how the funds work: each greenback that comes into the group, after bills, goes proper into the baseball operations funds.

So, in concept, that ought to all be true for the $19.3-ish million that was saved in trades this 12 months.

That doesn’t imply you may take the 2022 anticipated payroll (no matter that’s) and bump it by $19.3 million. It may not be one-to-one like with payroll in a single 12 months. However what it *SHOULD* imply is that baseball operations ought to have important additional flexibility – nearly $20 million price – to spend the way it sees match over the subsequent a number of years. Unfold it out over improvement wants? OK. Signal a pair additional gamers for 2022? OK, that’s tremendous, too. Nonetheless. No matter. The purpose is simply that it was cash saved that ought to, in concept, be accessible to Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins.

Brett Taylor contributed to this publish. | The Cubs Saved a Complete Lotta Cash in Their Trades This 12 months


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