Anthony Rizzo received a laughable contract extension offer from the Chicago Cubs prior to Opening Day.
MLB Opening Day takes place this Thursday, which means some teams have only a couple of days to negotiate a contract extension with impending free agents who have set a deadline. The Chicago Cubs have three star players set to hit the open market at the end of the year, with first baseman Anthony Rizzo being one of them. However, Rizzo cut off negotiations with the Cubs, and we now know why.
According to Ken Rosenthal and Patrick Mooney of The Athletic, the Cubs’ first offer to Rizzo was for five-years worth $70 million. Sources told Rosenthal and Mooney that the contract was front-loaded and included escalators that would have allowed him to earn more near the tail end of the deal.
Anthony Rizzo calls off contract extension negotiations to focus on season
It is as if the Cubs took contract negotiation advice from the Houston Astros, who recently lowballed shortstop Carlos Correa. Or vice versa.
Sources told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers that Rizzo was looking for a multi-year contract worth around $100 million. As evidenced by the report from The Athletic, the Cubs were nowhere near meeting Rizzo’s desires. That is why Rizzo revealed on Monday that he called off negotiations and will instead focus on the upcoming campaign.
“It doesn’t look like at this time anything is going to be finalized,” Rizzo said, via ESPN. “With [the] Opening Day deadline, we feel really strong about it. We’ve had enough time to talk and figure it out. I’ve told my agents not to talk to me about it anymore.”
Rizzo first joined the Cubs back in 2012 on a one-year deal before signing a seven-year, $41 million pact in 2013 that included two option years. In his nine seasons with the Cubs, Rizzo slashed .274/.374/.492 while recording 228 home runs, 744 RBI, 680 runs scored and 1,231 hits. The three-time All-Star (2014-16) won four Gold Gloves (2016, 2018-20), a Silver Slugger (2016), the Roberto Clemente award (2016) and a World Series title.
The longtime Cubs first baseman wants to finish his career with the Cubs, but the organization is not willing to meet his contract demands. With this latest update, the two sides won’t negotiate until Rizzo officially becomes a free agent.