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Outside the Cubs Boxcar counts the chickens

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in which we conclude our narrative and await future developments

cluck bait
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to part eight of the Free Agency Special. The previous installment ended the acquisition phase, and here we’re going to look at the expenditures and see if we can afford to do anything else.

Our 40-man roster (estimated 2018 salary):

  1. Albert Almora Jr. (pre-arb 2; est. $650,000)
  2. Dario Alvarez (pre-arb 2; est $600,000)
  3. Javier Baez (pre-arb 3; est $1,250,000)
  4. Kris Bryant (arb; est $8,259,000)
  5. Eddie Butler (pre-arb 2; est $552,000)
  6. Trevor Cahill (est. $1,750,000)
  7. Victor Caratini (pre-arb; $552,000)
  8. Tyler Chatwood ($12,500,000)
  9. Alex Cobb (est. $13,000,000)
  10. Willson Contreras (pre-arb 2; est. $750,000)
  11. Wade Davis (est. $14,000,000)
  12. Carl Edwards Jr. (pre-arb 2; est. 650,000)
  13. Luke Farrell (pre-arb; est $552,000)
  14. Justin Grimm (est. $2,400,000)
  15. Deolis Guerra (est. $750,000)
  16. Jacob Hannemann ($552,000)
  17. Ian Happ (pre-arb; est $650,000)
  18. Kyle Hendricks (arb; est $4,900,000)
  19. Jason Heyward ($28,170,000)
  20. Ian Krol (est $1,250,000)
  21. Tommy La Stella (arb; est $1,000,000)
  22. Jon Lester ($27,500,000)
  23. Dillon Maples (pre-arb; $552,000)
  24. Cory Mazzoni (pre-arb; $552,000)
  25. Alec Mills (pre-arb; $552,000)
  26. Mike Montgomery (pre-arb 3; est. $1,250,000)
  27. Jose Quintana ($8,850,000)
  28. Addison Reed ($8,000,000)
  29. Anthony Rizzo ($7,000,000)
  30. Randy Rosario (pre-arb; $552,000)
  31. Addison Russell (arb; est $2,400,000)
  32. Hector Sanchez (pre-arb 3; est. $750,000)
  33. Kyle Schwarber (pre-arb 3; est $750,000)
  34. Pedro Strop ($5,850,000)
  35. Jen-Ho Tseng (pre-arb; $552,000)
  36. Duane Underwood Jr. (pre-arb; $552,000)
  37. Justin Wilson (arb; est $4,300,000)
  38. Mark Zagunis (pre-arb; $552,000)
  39. Rob Zastryzny (pre-arb; $552,000)
  40. Ben Zobrist ($16,500,000)

Estimated 2018 salaries were pulled from various sources. I don’t know that we need the exact numbers, but Baseball Prospectus has the Cubs at $172,199,881 and this total is $184,303,000. The luxury tax threshold is $195,000,000. Clearly, either figure allows additional expenditures.

Of course, this isn’t exactly what the Cubs will do in 2018; it’s just one possible way to go with trades and free-agent signings. There will likely be different trades and alternative signings. But the team can be well-stocked and emerge well under the threshold without too much effort, which we’ve demonstrated in this exercise.

The depth chart:

LF

  1. Kyle Schwarber (L)
  2. Ian Happ (S)
  3. Ben Zobrist (S)

CF

  1. Albert Almora Jr
  2. Ian Happ (S)
  3. Jason Heyward (L)

RF

  1. Jason Heyward (L)
  2. Ian Happ (S)
  3. Ben Zobrist (S)

1B

  1. Anthony Rizzo
  2. Kris Bryant

2B

  1. Javier Baez
  2. Ben Zobrist
  3. Ian Happ
  4. Tommy La Stella

SS

  1. Addison Russell
  2. Javier Baez
  3. Alexi Amarista (AAA)

3B

  1. Kris Bryant
  2. Tommy La Stella
  3. Ian Happ

C

  1. Willson Contreras
  2. Hector Sanchez
  3. Victor Caratini (AAA)

Starting pitchers:

  1. Jon Lester (L)
  2. Kyle Hendricks
  3. Jose Quintana (L)
  4. Alex Cobb
  5. Tyler Chatwood

Relief Pitchers:

  1. Trevor Cahill
  2. Mike Montgomery (L)
  3. Addison Reed
  4. Dario Alvarez (L)
  5. Justin Grimm
  6. Ian Krol (L)
  7. Dillon Maples
  8. Rob Zastryzny (L)
  9. Carl Edwards Jr.
  10. Justin Wilson (L)
  11. Pedro Strop
  12. Wade Davis

That doesn’t look so bad. To be continued when necessary. Thanks for reading.