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Volume 27 No. 5
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Cubs' Lack Of Moves This Offseason Due To Luxury Tax Concerns

The Cubs' "lack of movement" this offseason has been "created by a payroll budget limited by luxury-tax consideration," according to Madeline Kenney of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Cubs co-Owner Laura Ricketts said, "The longer you go over (the luxury tax), the more you're paying. Yeah, we have some new revenue streams -- (and) everything we make goes back into the team -- but you don't want to be spending it on fees and penalties, you want to be spending it on talent." Kenney notes MLB's luxury-tax threshold is $208M this year. The current Cubs' roster already "projects at a total exceeding that." Last season, the Cubs were "one of three teams to pay the luxury tax, and penalties increase for each successive season exceeding that threshold." Ricketts said, "I'm sure everybody always wants a bigger budget, whether you're in baseball or whatever industry you're in, but it doesn't mean it's going to pay off with better performance on the field" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/17).

TO SEE, OR NOT TO SEE? In Chicago, Paul Sullivan writes most Cubs fans are "wondering whether they'll be able to watch the games on TV, as there has been no announcement on a deal" between Marquee Sports Network and some local cable companies, including Comcast. On those concerns, Ricketts said, "I don't think anyone should worry at this point. There's a lot of moving parts with regards to carriage (fees). Obviously everyone wants to get the best deal they can. We don't want fans to have to pay a lot of money to be able to see the Cubs." She added, "We just want it to be reasonable. It'll happen. We have some time" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/17).