The Cubs are one of nine teams in violation of MLB's debt service rules, and Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun-Times hears that the debt might impact the team's ability to pursue big free agents over the next few years. Wittenmyer estimates the debt at $400MM or so.
On paper, a free agent first baseman like Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols would make perfect sense for the Cubs, who have a ton of money coming off the books after the season as Tim Dierkes explained in his 2012 Contracts Issues post. Now their ability to pursue players of that caliber is in question. Chairman Tom Ricketts has been preaching player development since purchasing the team in 2009, and the draft will be even more important if the Cubbies are unable plug holes with free agents.