The Chicago Cubs officially exercised their 2021 club option on the contract of first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and also declined their contract option on infielder Daniel Descalso.
Rizzo, who hit 11 home runs and hit .222 for the Cubs last season, will make $16.5 million next season for the Cubs as he enters the final year of a seven-year pact he inked with the team prior to the 2015 season.
The Cubs acquired Rizzo in a trade with the San Diego Padres in 2012, marking one of the first significant transactions of the Theo Epstein era with the club. Since then Rizzo has earned three Gold Glove Awards at first base, and has hit 228 home runs and driven in 744 RBI’s during that time.
According to the Cubs, Rizzo ranks only behind Billy Williams in 25-home run seasons with the team among left-handed hitters.
Unless he signs a contract extension with the team, Rizzo will be one of several high-profile Cubs players to potentially hit unrestricted free agency after the 2021 season, joining Kris Bryant and Javier Baez in that category.
The Cubs also made another roster decision Saturday, electing not to pick up the third-year option on Descalso’s contract. The infielder missed the 2020 season with an ankle injury, and has hit two home runs and driven in 15 RBI’s during his tenure on the North Side.
The Cubs’ roster remains at 31 players.