The filing in Wilmington, Del., was anticipated and is expected to lead to a brief stay in Chapter 11 for the Cubs.
It comes as part of the Tribune Co.'s plans to sell the team, Wrigley Field and related properties to the family of billionaire Joe Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade.
Tribune, which also owns the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, filed for bankruptcy protection in December, but the Cubs were not included in the filing. The team's run through Chapter 11 is expected to protect its new owners from potential claims by Tribune creditors.
Tribune bought the Cubs in 1981 for $20.5 million from candy maker Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. It announced plans to sell the franchise in 2007, but got tripped up by the recession and the collapse of the credit markets.
It has agreed to sell the Ricketts family a 95 percent stake in a deal that tops the record $660 million paid for the Boston Red Sox and its related properties in 2002. Tribune Co. is keeping the remaining 5 percent.
By: Andrew Vanacore The Chicago Cubs filed for Chapter 11 protection Monday, a step that will allow its corporate parent to sell the team in an $845 million deal.