Chicago Cubs can learn from Chicago White Sox with their first baseman

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Chicago White Sox have shown immense loyalty with Jose Abreu and the Chicago Cubs could follow suit in coming years with Anthony Rizzo.

In this day and age, it’s increasingly rare to see a player – especially one of Jose Abreu‘s caliber – with such an intense loyalty to his team. The 33-year-old slugger will return to the Chicago White Sox next season after accepting the team’s $17.8 million qualifying offer ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

So why are we talking about this given this is a Cubs blog? Simple. After picking up their first of two team options on their own first baseman, Anthony Rizzo, the Chicago Cubs draw one year nearer to seeing the three-time All-Star hit the open market.

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Chicago has one more team option for the 2021 campaign, but then it’s anybody’s guess what comes next. During his time with the Cubs, Rizzo has become the face of the franchise – and is the final holdover from the dark days, when Theo Epstein tore the organization down the studs in building a World Series champion.

The former sixth-rounder has compiled quite the impressive resume in his big league career. Three All-Star selections, a trio of Gold Gloves (and a Platinum Glove, to boot), a Silver Slugger award and a World Series ring. Not too bad, right?

Most importantly, he’s been the most consistent part of the team for years now. Since 2014, he’s never hit fewer than 25 home runs in a single season and has averaged a .284/.388/.513 line in that span. That’s not to mention the fact that he annually ranks as one of the game’s most elite defensive players, as well.

But all of that pales in comparison to the clubhouse presence and leadership he brings to the table. Rizzo has long been viewed by teammates and coaches alike as a critical tone-setter for the team and his off-field work speaks for itself.

Former Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez offered similar praise for Abreu, who has long maintained that he would be back with the Sox, one way or another.

"“He was amazing with me, every single day,” Jiménez told “He helped me a lot. In the first year in the big leagues, sometimes you get too excited, and he helped me with that. He said, ‘You don’t need to show people who you are. People already know. Just go out, play hard and enjoy your game.’ That was his advice.”"

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We can only hope that when Rizzo and the Cubs come to a fork in the road, he’s taken the next generation of North Side talent under his wing and we see him finish his career as a member of the franchise he’s helped change in immeasurable ways.