Cubs Rumors: Team low-balled Anthony Rizzo with four-year, $60 million offer
What’s a guy got to do to get paid? Seriously. Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has won a trio of Gold Gloves, a Platinum Glove, a Silver Slugger, has three All-Star nods to his credit and he helped end a century-plus World Series championship drought back in 2016.
Despite all that, Cubs ownership and the front office kicked off extension talks with an insulting four-year offer coming in right around the $60 million mark. Now, I know that’s a jumping off point – but we’re probably talking about a gap of at least $40 million between Rizzo’s number and what the club kicked things off with.
"“I told my agents not to talk to me about it anymore, even from this point on, really,” Rizzo said on Monday, “… It was good to have clarity one way or the other. Now I can get ready for the season.”"
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
Chicago is officially in danger of letting the undisputed face of the franchise walk in free agency. He’s not talking about a new deal in the regular season – so unless something shocking comes together in the next 48 hours, this could very well be Rizzo’s final season on the North Side.
Rizzo struggled at the dish during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, batting a paltry .222. He was still an above-average offensive presence, but was far from the anchor he’s been for almost all of his career. In short, the Cubs first baseman has regularly been a 25-100 threat, capable of driving the ball out of the yard or working counts and taking his walks.
Cubs are causing irreparable damage here
I understand Chicago won’t extend Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez (although if they wanted to, they are certainly capable of doing so). But I guess I always thought if there was one guy they stood a good chance of locking up for the rest of his career, it would be Rizzo.
Instead, they’ve alienated the slugger – setting him up for the first foray into free agency of his career. Chicago is now very much in danger of setting themselves back a decade in the eyes of players across the league for how they’re handling these talks. With a World Series ring in the bag, it’s like ownership is content just cashing their checks from here on out.
It’s a disservice to the players and staff and it’s an outright slap in the face to fans.
Don’t let the talking heads fool you. Whether they like it or not, this club is a large-market presence and it’s way past time it starts acting like it. That begins with taking care of Anthony Rizzo and making him a Cub for life.