For all that was made of the dramatic breakup between the Chicago Cubs and Anthony Rizzo in July 2021, perhaps the well didn't wind up as poisoned as we initially thought.
I say that because new Cubs right-hander Jameson Taillon credited Rizzo and another former Cub, Scott Effross, with selling him on Chicago early in his free agent journey that culminated in his signing a four-year, $68 million deal.
"He told me they were interested in me. He told me I would love it there. He then said if I ever had any questions about the Cubs to run it by him. He had great things to say, and he obviously (still) means a lot to the Cubs organization."- Jameson Taillon via 670 WSCR
Rizzo spent almost his entire career on the North Side, emerging as a face of the franchise and beloved leader of the 2016 World Series team before Jed Hoyer traded him to the Yankees after a pair of double-digit losing streaks cemented the front office's selling position approaching the 2021 trade deadline.
Cubs: Anthony Rizzo helped sell Jameson Taillon on Chicago
During his Cubs tenure, there isn't much Rizzo didn't accomplish. A three-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner and a Silver Slugger recipient (not to mention a World Series champion), Rizzo anchored the franchise for a decade, cementing his place as one of the all-time greats in North Side lore.
But in the days that followed the trade to the Bronx, Rizzo and Hoyer seemingly traded barbs via the media and many wondered if how the relationship ended would impact the Cubs' ability to lure top-end talent in the years to come. But after signing Marcus Stroman and Seiya Suzuki last winter and following it up with Taillon, Cody Bellinger and Dansby Swanson this offseason, there seems to have been little effect on Hoyer's ability to add talent.
Hearing Rizzo praise the organization he spent the majority of his career with, regardless of how that tenure ended, offers some hope moving forward. Perhaps now, we can look back at the drama from that 2021 deadline and understand emotions were high and, despite baseball being a business, we're dealing with human beings - and all that comes with that.