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Cubs News: Anthony Rizzo Won't Receive New Contract Amid 2019 MLB Free Agency

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo in a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Thursday, June 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs informed first baseman Anthony Rizzo they won't offer him a contract extension this offseason.

Marc Pollack, Rizzo's agent, told ESPN's Jesse Rogers his client has made it clear he wants to remain with the club for the long haul. He's under team control through 2021 as part of the seven-year, $41 million deal he signed in 2013.

"The Cubs have informed us that they will not be offering Anthony an extension at this time," Pollack said Wednesday. "Anthony has let his desire to be a Cub for life known to the organization. Although we do not know what the future holds, a deal to make that happen will not be addressed now."

Rizzo has been one of baseball's most consistently productive hitters over the past seven seasons.

The 30-year-old Florida native has tallied at least 23 home runs every year since 2013, including four seasons with over 30 long balls, and is coming off a 2019 campaign where he posted a .924 OPS, which ranked 18th among all qualified hitters.

He also rates 17th among hitters in WAR (28.2) since the start of the 2013 season, per FanGraphs. That's one spot ahead of Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (27.8).

"Anthony loves playing for the Cubs fans and loves the city of Chicago," Pollack told Rogers. "He is excited to be playing for [new manager] David Ross and will continue to work hard to help the team get back into the postseason and win another championship."

Chicago has been heavily mentioned in trade rumors following a disappointing 2019 season where it posted an 84-78 record and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2014, though.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported last week the Cubs are described as "aggressive," "manic," "motivated" and "obvious" in their push to make a deal, and their standout first baseman isn't immune.

"It's why Rizzo's name comes up in discussions," Passan wrote. "He seems untradable. The likelihood of the Cubs moving him certainly is lower than the others. But even he could move in this climate."

Chicago exercised its $16.5 million club option on Rizzo for 2020 and holds an identical option for 2021, so there's no major rush to reach an agreement on an extension. Talks can pick back up if he's still on the roster following what could be an offseason of significant change.

Despite the rumors, it'd be a surprise if he wasn't with the Cubs on Opening Day this spring.