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Gird Your Loins for Cubs’ Most Challenging Offseason Yet

“We knew the 2017-18 offseason would be one of our most challenging,” Theo Epstein told us hours after the Cubs lost in the NLCS.

The upcoming months will be challenging for a variety of reasons. Jake Arrieta and John Lackey’s potential departure leaves the Cubs with two gaping starting pitching holes. Then you’ve got first-year arbitration salaries for Kyle Hendricks, Addison Russell, and Kris Bryant, signaling that realistic talks for extensions are fast approaching. And Joe Maddon’s already volatile bullpen could be devoid of a lock-down closer with Wade Davis entering free agency. Even my OOTP teams don’t have this much going on during an offseason.

But the Cubs are still in a healthy enough financial position to overcome their hurdles. Evan Altman noted that Theo and Co. are likely locked in for around $135 million after arbitration, leaving them with around $50 million to spend in the offseason. We can’t look at that allowance in short-sighted fashion, though. If the former champs sign a free agent to an expensive, multi-year deal, the contract would run into seasons in which arbitration salaries of the young core escalate, leaving the Northsiders with little flexibility for forthcoming offseasons.

Instead of signing …Read the Rest

Source:: Cubs Insider

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