Cubs, Rizzo agree to $41 million, 7-year deal

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Cubs have viewed Anthony Rizzo as a part of their future since they acquired him.

Now he’s locked in.

The slugging first baseman and the Cubs agreed Monday to a $41 million, seven-year contract that could be worth up to $68 million over nine seasons.

“We believe in Anthony,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “We think he’s going to be a very big part of our future here in Chicago, and we’re excited to get a deal done.

The 23-year-old is hitting .280 with a .352 on-base percentage. He also has nine home runs and 28 RBIs in his third major league season.

Rizzo realized that he was taking “maybe a little bit of a discount now” but said “it’s security for now and it’s a huge weight off my shoulder, my family’s shoulders, my kids’ shoulders, my grandkids’ shoulders.”

Hoyer said talks for a new deal began with about two weeks left in spring training but were halted before opening day. They restarted less than two weeks ago.

Rizzo gets a $2 million signing bonus, of which $250,000 is payable within 30 days of the contract’s approval by Major League Baseball and $1.75 million is payable next Jan. 15.

He receives a $750,000 salary this year, up from $498,000 under the agreement he reached in March. He then will earn $1.25 million next year, $5 million apiece in 2015 and 2016, $7 million each in 2017 and 2018 and $11 million in 2019.

Chicago has a $14.5 million option for 2020 with a $2 million buyout. If that is exercised, the Cubs will have a $14.5 million for 2021 with a $2 million buyout.

“This day has come so fast,” Rizzo said. “Looking back on it, when I was a young kid dreaming of this day, it’s a surreal moment.”

With chairman Tom Ricketts and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein watching, the Cubs announced a deal that has the highest average annual value ($5,857,143) for a position player with less than two years of major league service. Among pitchers in that service group, Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma ($7 million), Toronto’s Ricky Romero ($6.02 million) and San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner ($5,592,667) have higher averages.

“I think it’s a great matchup for both sides,” Hoyer said. “It is unusual that it is early, but I think our knowledge of Anthony and our belief in him as a person makes that possible.”

Hoyer declined to say if the Cubs are negotiating new deals with other players, but said he “certainly” hopes there are others who follow Rizzo.

Rizzo was selected out of high school in the sixth round of the 2007 amateur draft by Boston, a time when Epstein and Hoyer were running the Red Sox front office. Hoyer was the Padres’ general manager when San Diego dealt for Rizzo.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player