Cubs executives met with Bryce Harper and agent Scott Boras during the winter meetings and held talks that allegedly lasted about three hours, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. No deal seems to be close between the two sides, although the most interesting detail of the meeting is that the president of the baseballops Theo Epstein has asked Harper and Boras to sign up with the Cubs before agreeing to a deal with another team Give the Cubs more time to try to make room for payroll for the Free Agent Slugger.
We've heard all season that the Cubs have little spending capacity and have to sign Daniel outside modest deals Descalso and Kendall Graveman Wrigley Field did not do much at all. The decision to pursue Cole Hamel's & # 39; club option is still the Cubs' biggest move this winter, and this transaction required a corresponding move (Trade by Drew Smyly the Rangers) to clear some money from the books.
The Cubs certainly have their share of high-priced contracts that have not worked out yet ̵
] A certain amount of creativity is certainly needed when Epstein and his front office plan to embark on a serious run at Harper, as Boras intends to sign a record deal for the outfielder. Chicago could certainly examine the kind of luxury tax cuts that have made the Dodgers experts in recent years, most recently the seven-player exchange with the Reds just two days ago. It is believed that this deal is part of Dodgers' own persecution of Harper, so the Cubs could already be behind the Dodgers in this regard, although Harper (like most big Boras customers) will sign offseason later in the US ,
According to Roster Resource, the Cubs are currently paying more than $ 220 million over the next season, with a projected $ 234.5 million luxury tax bill (reminder: the luxury taxpayers carry) some other calculations than just the dollar on the MLB payroll). This enables them to exceed the threshold of $ 206 million in competitive countervailing taxes and thus pay a tax penalty of 20% of every dollar on the surplus. This is the first-time goal for any team that exceeds the threshold, but remained bottom-line in the previous season. If the Cubs' tax bill exceeded $ 246 million in the next season, it would have a higher financial penalty and a 10-point reduction in the draft for its highest selection in the 2019 amateur draft. (The Red Sox faced this over $ 40 million overweight last season.)
The Cubs had only owed luxury tax once in their history because it exceeded the CBT threshold in 2016 led to a tax bill of $ 2.96 million. Needless to say, this was a small price to pay, considering the Cubs have ended their World Series drought this season. As noted by Tim Dierkes of the MLBTR in the past, the dollar amount actually spent on these luxury tax payments is a true diminution of the bucket for a large market team. Therefore, there is no big financial disadvantage when a team crosses the threshold once or even several times.
The Cubs are also expected to show even more revenue in the form of a new television deal, although the ownership of this money before the future financing necessarily wants to have firm commitments. 2019 is also the last year of guaranteed salaries for Hamels, Morrow, Kintzler, Duensing, Ben Zobrist Steve Cishek and Pedro Strop so a good deal of payroll will be available next winter to help with ducking below the tax threshold or at least avoid the higher penalty of over $ 40 million +.