TODAY: Cubs GM Jed Hoyer discussed the situation with David Kaplan on Sports Talk Live (NBC Sports Chicago’s Tony Andracki has a partial transcript) today, saying that the two sides held “some conceptual talks about what an extension would look like and I think that, candidly, we were pretty far apart in terms of length and so he [Pollack] decided to come out and say that.” Hoyer also noted these negotiations were in the very early stages, and that “there’s nothing that’s been done that’s going to stop future conversations.”
YESTERDAY: The Cubs have decided against pursuing an extension with first baseman Anthony Rizzo this offseason, agent Marc Pollack tells Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com. Whether future contract talks will take place is an open question.
Rizzo is entering his second-to-last season of team control under his original extension. That deal has worked out swimmingly for the Chicago organization, which is paying Rizzo $14.5MM this season with another option remaining at the same price (with a $2MM buyout as the alternative).
It seems that Rizzo instructed his rep to broach the possibility of another contract that would keep him locked in at first base for many more years to come. That interest was rebuffed.
“Anthony has let his desire to be a Cub for life known to the organization,” says Pollack. “Although we do not know what the future holds, a deal to make that happen will not be addressed now.”
The 30-year-old Rizzo evidently isn’t seen as a desirable target despite another exceptional campaign at the plate. He slashed a robust .293/.405/.520 with 27 home runs in 2019 and has steadily produced big numbers since a breakout 2014 effort.
The Chicago organization is in an interesting position after carrying a big payroll for several seasons and wrapping up a costlier-than-expected Wrigley Field renovation project. While many would argue that further outlay is warranted, the club has again given signals that it will keep a tight hold on the purse this winter.
That said, the Cubs have expressed interest in pursuing some long-term deals. Rogers says that Kyle Schwarber also hasn’t yet been approached. Kris Bryant is all but certainly a non-starter. Whether Willson Contreras could be pursued isn’t known, but the team has discussed him in trade scenarios. It seems infielder Javier Baez is the likeliest candidate to be locked up at some point in the offseason.