Theo Epstein: Cubs' Budget 'Unknown' Moving Forward

"There are just too many variables and moving parts," Epstein says.

Dan Bernstein Show
July 24, 2020 - 11:35 am
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(670 The Score) On Wednesday, Dodgers star outfielder Mookie Betts agreed to a record 12-year contract extension worth $365 million.

Part of the Dodgers' ability to lock in a player of Betts' caliber is that their massive media rights contract for their television network serves as a big revenue driver. It's that type of financial windfall that the Cubs are hoping to eventually have with their new Marquee Sports Network, which struck a carriage deal with Comcast late Thursday night.

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With Opening Day having arrived amid the coronavirus pandemic and the Cubs' television network launched on most major providers, where does the team's financial situation stand?

"Everything related to our budget is right now just in the unknown category," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said on the Dan Bernstein Show on Friday. "There are just too many variables and moving parts. 

"The opportunity is for growth."

In addition to lacking gate receipts as fans aren't allowed inside MLB stadiums to open the season, the Cubs have a number of other business ventures that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic shutdown. Their restaurants, stores and hotel outside of Wrigley Field have been hurt financially.

These financial burdens come as core players like third baseman Kris Bryant, shortstop Javier Baez, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielder Kyle Schwarber are set to be free agents after the 2021 season.

Earlier this week, Bryant spoke openly about his desire to stay in Chicago on the podcast of teammate Ian Happ. It comes at a time when the Cubs' future baseball budget remains uncertain.

"Obviously, we're hoping that we're in the best possible financial position and can allocate resources to the players that help us win the most," Epstein said. "KB is certainly one of those."