Cubs “Ahead of Schedule” Financially This Year, Flexibility is There to Make In-Season Additions

The Chicago Cubs keep winning as we head into June, and it’s only natural to increasingly wonder about the ability to make key additions to the roster in July if the team’s performance justifies it. The better bet back in April might’ve been for a sell-off in July, but *IF* the Cubs keep going like they’re going, selling simply isn’t going to be on the table.

But that doesn’t automatically mean buying will be on the table, especially as the farm system is being rebuilt, and finances are up in the air thanks to the pandemic.

… or are things actually a lot better on that latter front than previously expected?

“As far as [financial] flexibility, we’ve had these projections for a little bit and feel like we’re a bit ahead of schedule,” Cubs President Jed Hoyer recently told the media, including the Sun-Times. “There’s definitely flexibility to make moves in-season if the right thing presents itself …. Everyone in baseball probably is a little bit [surprised by attendance timelines]. The vaccine rollout probably went a little better than everyone anticipated, and therefore increased capacities are probably moving a little faster than we had anticipated, which is a great thing. And so, yeah, it’s fair to say we’re a little bit ahead of schedule with those [financial] projections.”

Ahead of schedule, you say? Increased capacities coming a little faster than expected, you say? It sure sounds like Hoyer is saying, rather plainly, that available money will not be the primary issue if the Cubs look to make in-season acquisitions this year. I mean, there isn’t even hedging in there about the money side of things. It’s just: hey, if upgrading the roster looks like the right move at the time, and if we have a chance to make the right trade, we can do it financially.

To be sure, that is not entirely new information from Cubs President Jed Hoyer. He has alluded to this before, albeit speaking more generally about long-term finances at the time. But it is still really important, in my mind, to have it confirmed – IN season, ABOUT the current season – that the Cubs will have the financial bandwidth to make additions to the roster if the performance justifies it.

It’s also really important to have this stuff on the record as the team continues to perform so well, and as Wrigley Field attendance continues to grow. Things didn’t look nearly this rosy back in December on the financial side.

Will the Cubs’ performance continue at a pace that justifies a big acquisition trade in July? That’s certainly TBD, and I don’t want to put that cart before the horse. Instead, I just think it’s very important to note that the Cubs are indicating money won’t be the issue if they don’t make an acquisition.

So go ahead and dream for a few minutes. (Oh, and wonder openly about extensions for key players, since the money is there for acquisitions, so … )

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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