Anthony Rizzo has decided to end contract negotiations with the Chicago Cubs, at least for the time being — in order to shift his focus onto the upcoming season.
During a press conference from spring training Monday, Rizzo told the media that talks had been underway for some time, and neither side seemed close to reaching a deal. Not to mention, opening day is just right around the corner, “with [the] Opening Day deadline, we feel really strong about it. We’ve had enough time to talk and figure it out. I’ve told my agents not to talk to me about it anymore.”
This means that Rizzo will enter into the 2021 season without a contract securing his future, and is currently slated for free agency in the upcoming offseason. However, this is not to say Rizzo will not return to the Cubs, but conversations have just been tabled for now. Rizzo was a part of the cast of Cubs that won the World Series in 2016, and Rizzo is also a three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner.
What the two parties are failing to agree on at the moment, is the price tag for the multi-year deal that Rizzo wants. His previous contract with the Cubs was for seven years at $41 million, and the current negotiations come as a result of the club exercising its option. However, if Rizzo wants another multi-year deal as he has expressed, he is looking for a way higher salary than he has previously received, to reflect the current market and its blockbuster contracts. The Cubs have not seemed to come near the number Rizzo wants, which leaves us with the tabled discussion until further notice.
The Cubs will have several big names on their team entering free agency this offseason, including Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, now in addition to Rizzo.
Rizzo realizes, though, that just because of his accolades with the team in past years, that does not mean it automatically secures his future, “when you think of the actual business side of it, you can’t just be naïve to think that just because of what I’ve done here, and what I’ve expressed, they’re just going to hand me a contract.”