The Cubs are finally starting to get serious about making trades, and The Chicago Tribune's Fred Mitchell and David Kaplan hear that the team is picking up their efforts to shed some "cumbersome salaries." Ownership is also expected to address the media about the team's direction at some point.
"It has been very difficult for the family and the team the first half of the season," chairman Tom Ricketts told season ticket holders. "This is not where the family wanted to be in the first half of the season."
Kosuke Fukudome, who has close to $20MM left on his deal, probably represents the most "movable" of the big salaries, since the team is unlikely to find a taker for Alfonso Soriano ($62MM left) or Carlos Zambrano ($45MM) without eating a significant portion of their contracts.
Derrek Lee is owed approximately $6.2MM the rest of the season, Ted Lilly a touch less. Those two are probably Chicago's best hope for clearing payroll, though the savings will not extend beyond this season since both are scheduled to become free agents this winter. The Cubs have over $103MM in salary obligations for 2011, and more than $62MM for 2012.