Cubs’ Payroll Higher Than Expected

According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, Cubs CEO Crane Kenney said today that the team’s 2009 payroll exceeds $140MM.  The Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan said Kenney wouldn’t give a payroll figure, but his sources indicated it might be in the $140-145MM range.  By Wittenmyer’s calculations, the Cubs have about $133MM likely to be committed to the current group.

Wittenmyer adds that the Cubs would be willing to eat as much as $4MM of Jason Marquis‘ $9.875MM salary to move him.  If the Cubs were to add Jake Peavy after that, they’d be around $138MM.  They could then squeeze in their coveted left-handed hitting outfielder.

Wittenmyer says the Cubs are still interested in Peavy, and talks with the Padres will resume Sunday in Vegas.  Ken Rosenthal wrote a day ago that the Cubs were putting the Peavy pursuit on hold until they added the left-handed hitting bat.

Wittenmyer reports that Kenney said he expects the Cubs’ sale to close by Opening Day.  Sullivan has Kenney saying it should be done by spring training.

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