The Chicago Cubs made a deal on Sunday that speaks to the long-term success that the front office is striving for. Reports confirm that the Chicago Cubs and first baseman Anthony Rizzo agreed on Sunday evening to a seven year, $41 million contract extension.
The contract will run from the current-2013 season through the 2019 season. The contract includes two $14.5 million club options at the tail-end of the 2019 season. Meaning the contract could have a value of nine years for $68 million. Also included in the contract is MVP-incentives that could escalate the value of the deal towards $73 million.
Rizzo, who turns 24 in August, is off to a stellar start for the Cubs in 2013. The first baseman is hitting .280/.352/.538 to go along with 9 home runs and 28 RBIs in 143 at bats for the Cubs this season.
The contract the Cubs gave to Rizzo follows the trend that the team set last season with shortstop Starlin Castro. Castro signed a seven year, $60 million contract with the Cubs in August of 2012.
Like the Cubs were able to do with Castro, the team will now presumably save money as they are forgoing Rizzo’s four arbitration eligible years as well as his first year of being eligible for free agency. This is a trend that the Tampa Bay Rays set with third baseman Evan Longoria, and proves to be an effective win-win scenario for teams in dealing with young players who figure to be long-term assets.
For the Cubs, they will be receiving incredible production from Rizzo for the value that they will be paying him over the next seven seasons. Even if on the off chance that Rizzo does not progress past the player that he is now, the Cubs still would not have overspent with this contract.
With this deal, Rizzo insures a sense of security with his spot on the Cubs for the long-term future. There is no question that the first baseman is a long-term cornerstone for the Cubs, and that is why it is best for all sides involved that this deal got done as soon as it did.
Expect the Cubs to try and secure a long-term deal with starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija next. Castro and Rizzo are perhaps the Cubs’ two biggest pieces to their long-term success, and Samardzija figures to fit into the long-term puzzle in a similar fashion.