Cubs Rumors: The offseason has to start with Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo - Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Rizzo - Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Cubs need to start with Anthony Rizzo–period. There’s a $16.5 million option, and the team needs to pick it up.

The Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo needs to pick up the $16.5 million option. That way, if they’re good, they can work on a plan to sign him long-term. Or option ‘B’? They’re missing out on the playoffs and can work on trading him for the trade deadline. I’ll take option A. h/t Jared Wyllys, Contributor to Forbes.

Rizzo only hit .222 for 58 games, but he’s a slow starter. He posted a slash of .342/.414/.755
with an OPS+ of 103–all career highs, minus 2012. After posting a WAR of 4.0 for the 2019 season, he paled in comparison with a WAR of 1.1 for 2020. And his ‘clutch’ stats? A paltry -0.32. His numbers would have gone up in 162 games. But 60 games? Not a chance.

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Also, Rizzo’s numbers were not as good as WPA/LI (Situational Wins). Rizzo sat at 1.12, his worst since 2013 (96 losses). And he’s not as good as the RE24 (Runs Above Average based on the 24 Base/Out States). He’s at 2.30 for the 2020 season and a -1.96 for the playoffs. In 2019, he averaged 48.60.

So Rizzo was average, at best–but he was coming up. In his last 12 games of the season, he was slashing .297/.422/.514 with an OPS of .936 with two home runs and four RBI. Again, he was about there. So close.

So you sign him to a $16.5 million option. Then what? I’d personally see him sign for the year and then ‘make some waves’ involving next year. I’d really like to see him sign for next year or beyond. But again, it’s a business. You never know what you are going to get.

Rizzo and the Cubs are on the ‘hot seat’ as far as signing him. I bet they get it done. But as far as what they do? No clue as far as they offer. Do they sign him and go from there? Or maybe they sign him to a ‘short-term deal’ (trade deadline) and trade him to someone else?

Next. MLB and the season of uncertainty. dark

Either way, they have options. As far as where they go? Does Rizzo sign a long-term deal and retires with the Cubs? I say, yes.