Did the Cubs burn their bridge when it comes to Anthony Rizzo?
This spring, Chicago low-balled Rizzo with an offer that fell tens of millions of dollars shy of what he was reportedly targeting (Paul Goldschmidt’s five-year, $130 million contract that was signed at the same age).
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The three-time All-Star put a hard stop on talks with the team once the season started and the guy who once seemed like the likeliest to finish his career as a Cub now looks like an almost sure-bet to leave when he hits free agency this fall. There are plenty of teams who could be in on Rizzo, especially his hometown Miami Marlins, who could install him as the veteran leader in an organization dripping with young, promising talent.
Rizzo has bounced back from a so-so 2020 with a 130 OPS+ so far this season. But he’s still off the pace of his career norms in a fairly significant way.
- 2014-2019: .284/.388/.513
- 2021: .257/.368/.444
The power hasn’t been there yet for the slugger, but his strong bat-to-ball skillset remains one of his biggest assets as he heads deeper into his 30s. It remains to be seen if a Joey Votto-esque transformation into more of an on-base presence rather than a 30-homer bat would impact his earning potential, but it’s nice to see him putting up solid numbers with a number of stars across MLB struggling at the plate.