A bit of sobering financial news is trickling out of Chicago Cubs land. We all knew that the budget was tight this year – given the already bloated payroll and the ownership transition – but I don’t think we had any idea how tight.

In the middle of the offseason, Ryan Dempster agreed to defer $3 million of his salary – effectively making the team an interest-free loan.

The team used that windfall to sign outfielder Xavier Nady to a one-year contract, a move that likely would not have been possible without Dempster’s offer.

Fox Sports first reported on Friday that Dempster had deferred that portion of his $12.5 million contract for 2010.

According to an ESPNChicago.com source, Dempster came to the team at the Cubs’ winter convention in January and asked how he could help. Dempster will get his money back over the next two years. The Cubs pitcher signed a four-year, $52-million contract before the 2009 season. ESPN Chicago.

That, my friends, is scary. Or at least, it’s as scary as a financial situation can be where the affected entity still manages to shell out over $140 million in salary.

Then again, maybe that’s precisely why it’s scary – if a team with a $25 million payroll needed a $3 million loan to make a move, well hey, that makes sense. When a team with a $140 million payroll – a team with a supposedly fan-centric, reinvest all proceeds type new owner – needs to ask one of its players to loan it some quick cash? That makes you wonder about the financial stability of the organization.

  • Jeff

    They need to give Dempster his money back.

  • pygreg

    Yeah, that’s troubling. It makes me like Dempster more though…

  • jstraw


    Ryan Dempster is loaning Tom Ricketts money. We are so screwed.

  • Bric

    As I play out all the possible moves the Cubs could and may make if they decide to cash in this season by July, the only veteran I was seeing stay with the team was Dempster. After hearing this, I’m even more convinced that no matter how many NTCs they try to wave and veterans to move, his name won’t come up. And it shouldn’t. This action shows more to the team than anything Lilly, Lee, Sori, Ramirez, or Z have. They all have big contracts, too, and there’s nothing wrong with that. This is America, and it’s their money to spend how they want. But apparently Demp wants to win a little more or lives a more modest lifestyle than the rest of the veterans.

  • KB

    It makes the $5 million we gave Grabow even more indefensible.

  • JRose

    Can we trade Nady

  • JRose

    Can we trade Nady to the Angels so Colvin can get more abs, maybe we could throw grabass in as well.

    • jstraw

      Not without Demp’s permission.