Cubs: Anthony Rizzo isn’t worrying about a contract extension

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Anthony Rizzo knows this could be his ‘Last Dance’ with the Chicago Cubs. But he also knows there are a lot of factors at play – many of which are outside his realm of control.

After arriving at camp in Arizona on Monday, Rizzo stressed that he isn’t focused on hammering out a new deal with Chicago. Instead, he’s going to focus on controlling what he can and doing his job as the team gears up for the 2021 season.

The 31-year-old first baseman is coming off a ‘down’ year by most measures, but that was hardly uncommon in the shortened 2020 season. He batted just .222/.342/.414 with 11 home runs, appearing in 58 of the team’s 60 games. Still, Rizzo brought home his third-straight Gold Glove – joining fellow Cubs infielder Javier Baez as recipients of the honor.

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Early in the offseason, Chicago exercised a $16.5 million option to keep Rizzo through 2021. This marks the final year of what’s turned out to be an incredibly team-friendly nine-year, $75 million deal he inked nearly a decade ago before he established himself as one of the most consistent first basemen in the game.

Cubs have to extend Anthony Rizzo

Perennially a Gold Glove candidate and 30/100 guy at the dish, Rizzo represents the best of the Cubs – both on and off the field. It’s honestly unfathomable to consider he could be playing his final year in Chicago and I still think he and Baez are the likeliest contract extension candidates. 

From 2015 to 2019, Rizzo has averaged 29 homers and 103 RBI to go along with a 137 OPS+. There’s really no weak spot in his game as he’s proven that he not only hits for power, but understands a way of hitting that’s fallen by the wayside in recent years: choking up when you’re down in the count and battling. 

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Jed Hoyer plans on talking to all of his extension candidates, including Rizzo, this spring. Hopefully by the time Opening Day hits, we know that Two Chains Tony is going to be a Cub for life.