When you take a step off the ledge and truly consider their surroundings, what do the Chicago Cubs need to improve upon in terms of their roster? They've made the playoffs four consecutive years and have averaged 97 wins in those seasons, with plenty of injury and rebound luck due to them in 2019.
MLB Hot Stove: Cubs reportedly may not be big spenders this offseason https://t.co/26UoltjrJj— CBS Sports MLB (@CBSSportsMLB) November 3, 2018
You want Bryce Harper, but you don't need Bryce Harper.
The Cubbies had two games at home to clinch a spot in the NLDS and most assumed they were going to do so. It just didn't work out in 2018.
Chicago loves spending money, but they already have more than $200 million in payroll committed for 2019, and that's not counting massive arbitration raises for Kris Bryant and Kyle Hendricks.
In addition, Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber, and Mike Montgomery will be arbitration-eligible for the first time, and they would certainly be going past the luxury-tax threshold for 2019 if they did spend big otherwise, especially considering they intend to pick up Cole Hamels' $20 million option.
One thing we are sure of is that the Cubs' aggressiveness or lack thereof on the free agent market will be one of the most compelling subplots of the winter.