With Opening Day looming on Thursday, it doesn’t appear that the Cubs will have any contract extensions finalized with Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, or Kris Bryant prior to their first game, according to both NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan and ESPN.com’s Jesse Rogers. This doesn’t necessarily mean at least one deal won’t eventually be worked out, since the Cubs “do not view Opening Day as a hard deadline,” Kaplan writes.
Of the trio, Bryant seems the least likely to sign an extension, as there hasn’t been much indication that the two sides have gotten far in negotiations. (As of March 10, Bryant said there hadn’t been any talks.) The outlook could be a bit more positive for both Baez and Rizzo, since Baez has already expressed that he and his representatives were willing to keep negotiating into the season.
The large majority of players prefer to restrict any contract talks to the offseason, so as to not have any lingering concerns or distractions impeding their focus once the games begin. Rizzo has himself expressed this same preference, though Kaplan points out that Rizzo’s previous extension with the team (a seven-year, $41MM contract in 2013) wasn’t made official until May 2013. Rizzo expressed some optimism a few weeks ago that the two sides could reach an agreement, and according to Kaplan, “club sources are confident that a deal will eventually get done.”
That seven-year, $41MM commitment has now grown into a nine-year pact, as the Cubs exercised their club options on Rizzo for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons, paying the first baseman $16.5MM each year. That initial investment has paid off very handsomely for the team, as Rizzo hit .284/.388/.513 with 179 homers from 2014-19 and became one of the key figures of this championship-winning era of Cubs baseball.
Rizzo turns 32 in August and is coming off a down year (.222/.342/.414 in 243 PA) by his normal standards, though given the unusual nature of the 2020 season, it’s hard to say whether Rizzo is actually experiencing any sort of decline. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see what type of contract Rizzo lands if he and the Cubs do agree to an extension — or, in lieu of an extension, what type of free agent deal Rizzo might receive on the open market if he delivers vintage numbers in 2021.
Bryant is a goner. Unless a player tells Boras he wants to remain with his current club ( Britton being the latest example) the odds are he will leave for the team with the best offer.
What he said is no big deal. Players rarely trash their current team while still playing for them. Why? The Cubs might end up giving him the best offer when he becomes a free agent. 2: It looks bad in the clubhouse. 3: It has a way to bite you in the you know where. Look at Deshaun Watson. He trashed the Houston Texans and because of the allegations against him, he will be lucky if he plays in the NFL anywhere this season.
I wouldn’t extend any of them. I find it hard to see them signing for a fair price. If free agency isn’t kind to them then maybe. I think they need to rebuild reload. Have the Cubs not seen what happens to 30 something first baseman when given a lot of money?
Yeah but Rizzo is like their captain and will most likely cost least amount of money & sign shortest deal. I realize they all might sign short prove it type deals too. But if Cubs signal a rebuild will Rizzo want to end his career with 4-6 yr deal on a rebuilding team or go somewhere to try & win again quicker?
The problem for Rizzo is first base is perhaps the most replacement position on the field. At age 32, I do not see him getting a huge contract.
Rizzo should be a Cub for life regardless if the Cubs decide to rebuild/reload. Bryant is a Boras the Whoras client so he’s gone. Baez is tricky. I think he wants to stay. Not sure the Cubs will offer enough for him. Especially if he has a good season.
Rizzo already isn’t a Cub for life .Drafted by the Red Sox and making his major league debut with the Padres.
Well now you’re just getting technical. That’s like saying Paul Konerko ain’t a White Sox.
I thought Konerko was best known as a Red.
Traded twice with Jed Hoyer involved. Traded for and traded away.
From Boston to San Diego in the Adrian Gonzalez deal. And later traded for Andrew Cashner who didn’t quite work out.
Hoyer never traded Rizzo away. He was the Cubs’ GM when they traded for Rizzo. So he traded FOR him twice.
Don’t you just hate those agents who try to get the best deal possible for their clients? What, is that their job or something?
Money has diminishing marginal value, and almost no marginal value to your lifestyle once your net worth reaches around $15 million. Some agents put no value on anything other than money, and that may not be in the player’s interest if he can become a legend in the town where he plays for years. I don’t think Bryant is at that status, but Rizzo is.
I would be happy to “settle” for $15M to live on, but I’m sure that value varies from person to person. And if the player lets his agent dictate where he plays, that’s the player’s issue. I would expect the agent to follow my instructions. I agree the opportunity to retire as a legend of a particular franchise would have significant appeal.
Im not sure how Cubs fans, as rabid as most are, will tolerate another complete tear down and rebuild. Considering that, ownership they should at least keep Baez OR Bryant, if not both. That being said, One has to wonder if Bryant is really healthy at all. It looks like he has been fighting with a shoulder injury for a while now and while he may have done well in spot time last season, players only really help you when they are on the field. This year will be interesting for the Cubs, a middling division should mean they are competitive throughout the season, if they cannot get hot at some point and make a playoff run.
Cubs fans tolerate whatever the team does. They’re rabid about the TEAM, not winning.
Some are, I even got shunned by a FO apologist friend of mine when I was livid about the Yu trade and letting Lester walk over $3M. Never had any wheelbarrows of cash and the Rickets are talking about budget like they’re the Royals or Pirates.
We all got very lucky that Joc begged Jed to sign and Jake is healthy so far.
Remember going into 2020 what the biggest move was? I can’t even remember but it was less than Daniel Descalso. I hate to admit but as a baseball fan I was much more excited about what the White Sox did then. Shame about Eloy.
They need to get something done. Top 5 1B in baseball. You can argue that he could be the best defensive 1B. Freeman and Goldshmidt would be in that discussion too.
5/135 would be reasonable for Rizzo with a mutual option for a 6th year. They got alot of money off the books. Most notably Kris Bryant and Craig Kimbrel. Potentially Baez too. I think both of them are extended. Whether they contend or not. I think KB gets dealt in July especially if he’s back to his ROTY and MVP self. His value will go way up. At first I was thinking Philly but they have no prospects at all. Their farm is possibly worse than the cubs. The Bravea are the best fit. They need a 3B too. Cubs could get 3 or 4 players for him.
KB and Kimbrel and all of kimbrels remaining salary for 4 players. That was the Braves can fire him if they choose to do so.
That’s too much for Anthony even though he’s been great for the Cubs. He will be 32 in August. I think it would start at 3/60 and then a fourth year is arguable whether it be an option or a guarantee that would bring the AAV down to say 18 million.
As for Baez and Bryant, I think you have to wait and see what level they are playing at this year before you start negotiating. And I think the QO is still in effect before the CBA expires if any of them have a decent season.
It won’t be another team friendly deal. He’ll get or should get at least 80-85mil
@wrek305 absolutely they will not trade Bryant if they are contending!!!!!! You don’t trade a guy like that when you are contending!
Sure you do. If they’re not contending and he puts up mvp numbers. You would trade him too. I believe him when he says he wants to stay but his sleezeball agent will manipulate him into leaving.
@wrek305 No you do not!!!!!!!!! Name one team who traded a core player while they were contending and won the WS that year (or even made it to the WS that year).
If the Cubs can win another championship what does it matter if Bryant leaves after 2021 or not? He can’t leave before the 2021 World Series is over. If Kris Bryant leaving in FA really was the end-of-the-world that you seem to think it is, the Cubs wouldn’t get anything for him at the deadline anyway.
Now if the Cubs fall out of the race then that is a different story. But if they are still in it at the deadline they need to build the team they got.
I would be very surprised if Rizzo does not finish his career in a Cubs’ uniform and retires as a Chicago Cub. One of the biggest thing is what Rizzo wants to what the Cubs are willing to give him. Rizzo is the wrong side of 30 so he is at the end of his prime.