Anthony Rizzo Ends Cubs Contract Talks: 'We've Had Enough Time to Talk'

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 29, 2021

Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo (44) rounds third after hitting a solo home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Trevor Williams, bottom, during the first inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will begin the 2021 season without certainty regarding his future.

He told reporters Monday that he instructed his agents to end contract negotiations.

"We've had enough time to talk and figure it out," he said, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN. "I've told my agents not to talk to me about it anymore."

Rizzo had previously believed that a deal would get done, according to Rogers, but "the sides realized they weren't close." Rogers reported that the four-time Gold Glove Award winner and three-time All-Star is looking for a multiyear contract for roughly $100 million. 

According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Patrick Mooney, the Cubs offered Rizzo a five-year, $70 million contract extension. Rosenthal and Mooney noted the deal "was front-loaded and included escalators that would have enabled Rizzo to earn more on the back end."

The Cubs will face a barrage of their own free agents at the end of the season, with shortstop Javier Baez and third baseman Kris Bryant in their final years of contracts and no expected end to negotiations in sight, per Rogers.  

Rizzo is under team control through the end of 2021, with this season coming as the second and final team option following a seven-year, $41 million deal that concluded in 2019. 

The 31-year-old hit just .222/.342/.414 with 24 RBI and 11 home runs in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, putting up his worst numbers since his rookie year in 2011. 

"When you think of the actual business side of it, you can't just be naive to think that just because of what I've done here, and what I've expressed, they're just going to hand me a contract," Rizzo said. "Have to go out and earn it. I look forward to just continuing to play."