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.
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.
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.