With Anthony Rizzo heading into the final season of his current contract, Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer hopes to re-sign the three-time All-Star.
Hoyer told reporters on Wednesday that he will "respect" Rizzo's decision to put a deadline on negotiations for Opening Day, but the team hopes to keep the lines of communication open.
Rizzo addressed his contract situation during a Zoom meeting with reporters on Monday.
"It doesn't look like at this time anything is going to be finalized," he said. "With [the] Opening Day deadline, we feel really strong about it. We've had enough time to talk and figure it out. I've told my agents not to talk to me about it anymore."
Per Ken Rosenthal and Patrick Mooney of The Athletic, the Cubs presented Rizzo with a front-loaded contract offer of five years and $70 million that also included escalators for him to earn more on the back end of the deal.
Rosenthal and Mooney didn't specify what Rizzo is looking for on his next deal, but they did cite the extension that Paul Goldschmidt received from the St. Louis Cardinals in March 2019 as one possible starting point.
Goldschmidt, who was 31 at the time, signed a five-year, $130 million deal with the Cardinals.
Rizzo is currently 31 years old, though he is coming off a down year in 2020. The four-time Gold Glove winner had a .222/.342/.414 slash line with 11 homers and 24 RBI in 58 games.
The Cubs have been cutting costs over the past two years as they remake their roster. Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini were traded to the San Diego Padres in December for Zach Davies and four prospects.
Rizzo's $16.5 million salary is the third-highest on the Cubs in 2021. Only Jason Heyward ($23.5 million) and Kris Bryant ($19.5 million) will earn more.
The Cubs originally acquired Rizzo in a January 2012 trade with the Padres. He's been one of the best players for the franchise since becoming a regular and was instrumental in their World Series win in 2016. He has hit .274/.374/.492 with 228 homers and 744 RBI in 1,216 games with the team.