The Cubs are on pace to finish with the franchise's worst record in over 30 years, but that doesn't mean they will be passive this coming offseason as they rebuild. GM Jed Hoyer told MLB.com's Carrie Muskat that the club will have financial flexibility and be active on the free agent market this winter.
“We will have financial flexibility,” Hoyer said. “We’ve been diligent to make sure we do have flexibility and we’re efficient going forward. We’ll obviously be active in the free agent market. That’s a big part of our research and work now is evaluating free agents. We have some money to spend and we’ll focus on it heavily.”
Chicago opened the season with a payroll north of $100MM, but pricey commitments to Carlos Zambrano and Marlon Byrd will come off the books this winter. Alfonso Soriano ($19MM) and Carlos Marmol ($9.8MM) figure to remain on the payroll next season, plus Matt Garza is heading into his fourth year of arbitration as a Super Two. He earned $9.5MM this year.
Hoyer and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein figure to seek short-term deals for any free agents, similar to the two-year, $10MM contract given to David DeJesus last offseason. Since they remain in rebuilding mode, any short-term commitments would be considered potential trade bait at next year's trade deadline as well.