September 17, 2021

Cubs Reportedly Signaling Need To Clear Payroll (MLB Trade Rumors)

President Theo Epstein and his cohort have been decidedly mum on the Cubs’ payroll outlook this offseason, with the trade market looking like the club’s likeliest route toward improving a roster that went 84-78 last season. Now, a report is indicating the Cubs are rebuking even “low-budget” free agents due to payroll concerns, with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic pouring cold water on the free agency hopes of north side fans.

On the subject of a potential reunion with 2019 standout Nicholas Castellanos, Rosenthal had this to say: “Not a chance, at least for the moment. Club officials are telling representatives of even low-budget free agents that they need to clear money before engaging in serious negotiations.”

While that likely feels like a bit of a gut punch for Chicago fans, it makes some sense that Epstein and Co. would make a reduction on their estimated¬†$210MM luxury tax payroll a priority. The Cubs were one of three teams to exceed the tax in 2019, and, while our Offseason…

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