To absolutely no one’s surprise, Sunday it was revealed Anthony Rizzo’s contract option was being exercised:
Cubs news: In the least surprising move of the off-season, a league source indicates the Cubs have picked up Anthony Rizzo's option for 2020 at $16.5 million. Team should announce it later today.— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) November 3, 2019
Here’s the reason it’s $16.5 million instead of the original number of $14.5 million:
Rizzo's team option was originally $14.5M. It climbed to $16.5M after he had two Top 5 finishes in NL MVP voting in '15-16. https://t.co/LUkJbnKiwB— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) November 3, 2019
Rizzo’s option for 2021 also increased to $16.5 million because of those two Top 5 MVP vote finishes.
I’ve written a number of times here, most recently in 2017, that the Cubs ought to tear up whatever options remain on Rizzo’s contract and sign him to one that will make him a lifetime Cub. Rizzo just turned 30 in August and his skills would seem to be the type that would hold up into his late 30s, both offensively (power and pitch selection) and defense at first base. He suffered a serious ankle injury in September, but played through it for a few games until the Cubs were pretty much out of the race. Right there is a reason to keep the guy around. He should be 100 percent for spring training. The only part of Rizzo’s game that has declined in the last year or so is whatever baserunning speed he has is pretty much gone. But that happens to every player when they hit their 30s.
The Cubs have been rumored to be exploring contract extensions with several players this winter, including Javier Baez. I hope they’ll explore one with Rizzo, too. He is this generation’s “Mr. Cub” and ought never to play another game with another team.