Cubs manager Dale Sveum had the same response as just about everyone else in baseball to the flurry of contract extensions in recent days for Justin Verlander, Adam Wainwright and Buster Posey.

“Big money, man,” said Sveum, whose highest-priced players — $18 million-a-year Alfonso Soriano and $9.8 million closer Carlos Marmol — are the guys his front office has tried hardest to trade.

Just in the last three days, Verlander, Wainwright and Posey agreed to a combined 20 years and $444.5 million worth of contracts with their clubs (Detroit, St. Louis and San Francisco, respectively).

That big-money refrain used to be said about the Cubs, who’d renew their own guys to big extensions before their post-Tribune Co. austerity program — investing in Kerry Wood, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano with various levels of success.

Despite this week’s Forbes report confirming what business president Crane Kenney told staff last summer — that the Cubs are the most profitable team in the majors — that kind of spending will have to wait.

Not that the Cubs have the kind of players to spend that kind of money on now anyway.

But Sveum also sees the growing money in this $8 billion industry — and specifically the Cubs’ efforts to increase revenues through Wrigley Field renovations and renegotiated TV contracts — as another sign of light at the end of this 101-loss (and counting) tunnel.