The Chicago Cubs have indicated that they will try to negotiate contract extensions with several players this offseason, but one of their biggest stars isn't on that list at the moment.
In an interview with ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers, agent Marc Pollack said that first baseman Anthony Rizzo has been told that the team will not pursue a contract extension with the slugger at this time.
“The Cubs have informed us that they will not be offering Anthony an extension at this time,” he said. “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.”
In an interview with NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan, Cubs G.M. Jed Hoyer said that the team has broached the topic with Rizzo's agent, but that the sides were "far apart" in terms of how long the contract would be.
"Rizzo's agent decided to talk about it, and we did have some conceptual talks about what an extension would look like and I think that, candidly, we were pretty far apart in terms of length and so he decided to come out and say that," he said.
Hoyer said that the team "loves" Rizzo, and hopes that he remains with the team "forever." He also said that nothing is stopping the sides from having more conversations in the future on the contract.
Rizzo signed a seven-year, $41 million contract with the Cubs in 2013, and has team options on the deal for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons. The Cubs have already announced that they have picked up Rizzo’s 2020 option, which will pay the first baseman $16.5 million.
For the second offseason in a row, the Cubs seem cautious about adding any more money to their payroll, which was one of baseball’s highest in 2019 and could potentially exceed the luxury tax threshold for a second consecutive year in 2020.
As a result, players such as Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras have seen their names floated in trade rumors, and the Cubs are debating some big changes after missing the postseason for the first time in five years.
Rizzo has been with the team since the early days of their rebuilding process under President Theo Epstein and G.M. Jed Hoyer, coming over in a 2012 trade with the San Diego Padres.
In eight seasons with the Cubs, Rizzo has hit 217 home runs and driven in 720 RBI’s while winning three Gold Glove Awards and making three All-Star teams. Rizzo was an instrumental part in the Cubs’ 2016 World Series championship, and caught the final out of that series against the Cleveland Indians.