Chicago Cubs Rumors: Anthony Rizzo won’t get more than a two-year deal
By Jake Misener
Rewind to the spring when Anthony Rizzo was still a member of the Chicago Cubs. The team approached him with a reported extension offer somewhere in the five-year, $70 million range and the three-time All-Star was displeased, to say the least.
But after a midseason trade to the Bronx, which culminated in an abrupt postseason exit via a Wild Card game loss to the Red Sox, and an overall fairly pedestrian year at the plate, it’s looking more and more like Rizzo may come to regret turning down that offer.
The New York Post‘s Joel Sherman says he can’t see the Yankees – or any other team – giving Rizzo more than a two-year deal this winter. He’s 32 years old, has battled nagging back injuries for years now and seems to have declined from his peak performance of recent years.
This year, Rizzo batted .248/.344/.440 between Chicago and New York – which works out to a 111 OPS+ or 112 wRC+, depending on which you like to use. Either way, he was a slightly above-average offensive player who managed to off-set his average with good plate discipline and drawing walks, although his walk rate fell by more than two percent year-over-year.
He’s still one of the best defensive first basemen in the game today. Rizzo makes picking errant throws out of the dirt far easier than it actually is and still brings a ton of value with his glove. And, again, to be clear, he’s not a drag at the dish, either – it’s just that he’s not the MVP-caliber presence he was back from 2015 to 2019.
During that stretch, he was one of the best players not just on the Cubs, but in all of baseball. He averaged 29 home runs and 103 RBI a year with a 137 OPS+ while bringing home three Gold Gloves, a Platinum Glove, a Silver Slugger award, a World Series ring and a pair of All-Star nods.
Chicago Cubs: Diminished performance, age working against Anthony Rizzo
But since the start of the 2020 campaign, he’s tailed off rather dramatically. That fact, paired with his age, explains why Sherman sees a pretty weak market for his services this winter. New York could, at least in theory, look to bring him back – but the presence of Luke Voit complicates matters there.
Boston, which was long believed to be the likeliest destination for Rizzo prior to the trade to New York, could also look to bring him back into the fold. If the market is, indeed, soft on the former sixth-rounder, you can bet that Jed Hoyer will be picking up the phone.
The only question left if that happens is whether or not Rizzo will bother picking up after the two exchanged a pretty public tit-for-tat in the days following the emotional trade deadline.