Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer talked around the question of his offseason budget when asked about it in November.
“We have a range that we've discussed,” Hoyer said, “but certainly we haven't been able to really nail anything down specifically. And I think that goes for almost everybody, that it makes sense that given the realities of our world right now, it has to be arranged because of that uncertainty.”
On Friday, NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan reported that Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts recently increased the Cubs’ 2021 player payroll budget. The news came soon after the Cubs reportedly agreed to terms with left-fielder Joc Pederson to a one-year $7 million deal.
The free agent signing didn’t represent the Cubs going all-in by any means – Pederson’s contract was $3 million short of what left fielder Kyle Schwarber signed for in Washington. But it was by far the Cubs’ biggest free agent signing of the offseason.
Prior to Friday, catcher Austin Romine held that title, signing a one-year, $1.5 million deal.
“I think this year is a challenging year from a budgeting standpoint, for 30 teams and probably millions of businesses around America,” Hoyer said in November. “We have questions about when the season is going to start, and the number of games we're going to play, and how many fans are going to be in the stands, and I think we have so many different questions about what life's going look like in the summer of ‘21.”
Those questions remain, despite Major League Baseball instructing its teams to prepare for an on-time start to Spring Training.