Where Cubs payroll stands after the arbitration deals


Where Cubs payroll stands after the arbitration deals

The Cubs' 2019 payroll figure became a bit more clear on Friday, as the team agreed to deals with all seven of their arbitration-eligible players.

Of the seven players, shortstop Addison Russell — who is serving a 40-game suspension for domestic violence — has perhaps the most interesting contract. Russell's contract is worth $3.4 million, though he will lose about $600K while serving the remaining 28 games of his suspension. 

Russell could recoup the lost salary through five bonuses if he is on the active roster for 30, 60, 90, 120 and 150 days, respectively. The shortstop made $3.2 million in 2018 and was projected to make $4.3 million in 2019, though his suspension surely affected the figure that he ultimately received.

Here are the salary figures for the other six arbitration-eligible Cubs:

-Javier Báez -$5.2 million 

-Kris Bryant - $12.9 million 

-Carl Edwards Jr. - $1.5 million

-Kyle Hendricks - $7.405 million 

-Mike Montgomery - $2.44 million

-Kyle Schwarber -$3.39 million 

Despite this offseason being his first as an arbitration player, Báez's salary is the biggest surprise of the group. Not only was he the Cubs' best player in 2018, but he also finished second in the National League Most Valuable Player voting.  In fact, MLB Trade Rumors projected Báez to receive $7.1 million.

Bryant, who is in his second year of arbitration, will see his salary increase modestly from 2018. His $10.85 million salary last season set the record for the highest awarded to a first-year arbitration player. Hendricks, who is also a second-year arbitration player, will receive a substantial raise from the $4.175 that he made in 2018.

Edwards Jr. ($594,000), Montgomery ($611,250) and Schwarber ($604,500) will all receive handsome raises from 2018. However, they were not eligible for arbitration until this offseason, hence the hefty raises.

If Russell does ultimately recoup the $600K, the Cubs will pay the aforementioned seven players about $36.235 million combined, short of the $38.9 million total projected by MLBTR. The difference here is marginal, but it's worthy to note when considering how the Cubs' budget constraints have been discussed at length.

Including the estimated $14.5 million for player bonuses and $2.2 million for minor league players on the 40-man roster, Friday's deals will push the Cubs' projected 2019 Opening Day payroll to a little more than $225 million.

The projection does not account for any additions that the Cubs could still make, such as adding bullpen help and/or a backup catcher. Regardless, the fact of the matter is that the Cubs will surpass MLB's $206 million luxury tax threshold by a wide-margin. Hopefully this puts things into perspective for any fans clamoring for the Cubs to make more offseason moves. 

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'Cubs by the letter'


'Cubs by the letter'

Chris Kamka goes through his Cubs version of the alphabet in a poem inspired by Ogden Nash's "A Lineup for Yesterday" from 1949.

A: Arrieta

Respected and feared

He tossed two no-hitters

And grew a large beard


B is for Billy

A sweet-swingin' lefty

Was rather soft spoken

His hittin' was hefty


C is for Catcher

Mike Barrett’s right fist

Contreras, Girardi

And others I missed


D is for Dawson

His contract was blank

He won MVP

Then went to the bank


E is for Ernie

He bled Cubbie Blue

a beautiful day

So why not play two


F is for Fergie

He could do it all

Played hockey, played hoops

Pitched into the Hall


G was for Goat

But not anymore

That nonsense of "curses"

We choose to ignore


H is for Harry

His trademark black frames

He’d yell “Holy Cow”

And mispronounce names


I is for Ivy

Along Wrigley's Walls

Responsible for

Many vanishing balls


J is for Javy

He goes by El Mago

The flashiest glove

In all of Chicago


K is for Strikeout

And also for Kerry

His 20-K game

Was quite legendary


L is for Lester

He just needs one run

He'll make 30 starts

And then start Game 1


M is for Maddon

Had plenty of luck

Used hundreds of lineups

And tried not to suck


N is November

Of 2016

One hundred eight years

They wiped the slate clean


O is for Orie

And countless others

Who'd be superstars

If we had our druthers


P is for Pappas

Was one pitch away

The ump called ball four

Which ruined Milt's day


Q for Quintana

Colombian pride

Has hurled for both

The South and North side


R is for Ryno

Out at second base

He turned double plays

With Dunston & Grace


S is for Sammy

Into the abyss

Goes dozens of baseballs

Heart tap and a kiss


T is for Tony

You know who it is

Regarding first base

No one beats The Rizz


U for Uehara

With Cubs for one year

Not many to choose from

To fill the spot here


V is for Vegas

A wonderful place

Hometown of the player

Who covers third base


W for Wrigley

And Waveland too

Also the white flag

With a W in blue


X is for X

Roman Numeral Ten

Was worn by Ron Santo

Won’t be worn again


Y is for Yu

He had a tough year

In 2019

Yu'll be glad he's here


Z is for Zobrist

A solid teammate

You'll hear his wife sing

As he walks to the plate


Well, it sure looks like the Bryce Harper-to-the-Cubs ship has sailed once and for all

Well, it sure looks like the Bryce Harper-to-the-Cubs ship has sailed once and for all

It sure seems like we can pronounce the Cubs' courtship of Bryce Harper DOA. 

Though there was never much doubt left after manager Joe Maddon bluntly said it wasn't going to happen, news of the Cubs' disinterest in Harper continues to trickle in: 

Take every single tweet ever with a grain of salt -- because that's all any of them are worth -- but this seems mighty cut and dry. Granted, this is the same Jim Bowden that spent a not insignificant amount of time trying to convince White Sox fans that their team was the FRONTRUNNER for Bryce Harper, but Bowden is admittedly more well-connected than other baseball tweeters. 

Maybe it's just posturing, and if the reports of Manny Machado's $175 million contract are to be believed, it's almost definitely posturing. The more important thing to take away from this, however, is that Hot Stove season is insufferable and would everyone please just sign players so we don't have to Sherlock Homes 16 tweets a day.