CHICAGO – With all the uncertainty about the future of the Chicago Cubs, Anthony Rizzo is sure of something.
The stellar slugger wants to stay.
Rizzo said Monday that he hopes to sign a long-term agreement with the club before his current contract expires at the end of the season.
“I always show that I love this city and everything about this city,” he said. “And I still love her, I love the team. I still love what we have here. “
Chief Operating Officer Jed Hoyer indicated last week that he would discuss possible long-term contracts with Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Puerto Rican Javier Báez in spring training. All three players have deals that end this season and come off tough seasons.
But they have also been part of the team’s transformation from long-suffering, beloved losers to champions who ended a 108-year untitled drought.
“If these guys go out and do what they usually do, I think everything works out positively,” said manager David Ross. “You cannot worry about what is going to happen next winter. We are wasting time if we think so far ahead. We have to focus on the daily process to improve ”.
From the spring training facility in Meza, Arizona, Rizzo said the preseason is the “perfect time” to discuss a new contract, but he did not rule out continuing discussions during the regular season if they don’t reach an agreement.
Rizzo, Bryant and Báez helped the Cubs win the World Series in 2016. Chicago finished first in the NL Central and reached the postseason for the fifth time in six years, but scored just one run in a sweep loss. against the Miami Marlins in the first-round series.
The Cubs haven’t advanced in the playoffs since 2017, and this vacation started a shakeup.
Hoyer was promoted to CEO after his friend and boss Theo Epstein left. Right-hander Yu Darvish came in a trade with the San Diego Padres. Slugger Kyle Schwarber did not receive a contract offer and signed as a free agent with the Washington Nationals.
The Cubs also met with Jake Arrieta, a 2015 Cy Young winner.
Bryant has the highest salary of the three players at $ 19.5 million, Rizzo will earn $ 16.5 million and Baez $ 11.65 million.
All three may not stay. The Cubs could trade a player or two before they enter free agency.