Cubs: Anthony Rizzo says there’s ‘no loyalty’ left in baseball

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Since getting traded the day prior to last summer’s trade deadline, longtime Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hasn’t been shy about making his thoughts known in the media – and that was the case again this weekend when he blasted a lack of loyalty in the game today.

Now, at surface level, maybe these remarks are just about the Yankees and Judge not working out a deal before Opening Day. As for Freeman, given he helped lead Atlanta to a World Series last season, it was shocking, for many, to see him wind up in Los Angeles when free agency resumed coming out of the lockout.

But as far as the Cubs are concerned, you know there’s got to be at least a part of these remarks aimed at the chest of Chicago president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer. After all, heading into 2021, we knew there was no chance Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Rizzo would all get extended, but, by and large, you felt pretty solid about the team’s odds of keeping the latter long-term.

Instead, in a very public way, talks imploded last spring and the Cubs traded their three-time All-Star to the Bronx in July. Rizzo and Hoyer went back-and-forth at each other in the media and Rizzo wound up returning to the Yankees in free agency on a one-year, $16 million deal with a $16 million player option for 2023.

Cubs: Anthony Rizzo will always be special to everyone on the North Side

Only time will tell if Rizzo comes out on top in regards to what he brings in the rest of his career. He reportedly spurned a five-year, $70 million offer from Chicago last spring – and with $32 million in the bank via his new pact with New York, he’s still got a ways to go to match that over the long-term.

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At the time, not just when it came to Rizzo, but also Bryant and Baez, there were a lot of emotions involved – and rightfully so. But I have to give Hoyer credit: he said the offers the club made would stand up and, with all three signed elsewhere, that certainly seems to be the case. I understand loyalty, but you can’t make business decisions with your heart, either.