Cubs agree to seven-year extension with Anthony Rizzo

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Anthony Rizzo (USATSI)
Rizzo will anchor the Cubs lineup through at least 2019. (USATSI)

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Last August, the Cubs locked up shortstop Starlin Castro to a seven-year contract extension. On Sunday, they ageed to sign Anthony Rizzo long-term as well. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports the team and their first baseman have agreed to a seven-year extension. Here is the breakdown of the contract terms:

  • $41 million in guaranteed money.
  • Two club options worth $14.5 million each, plus $2 million buyouts.
  • The contract does not include any no-trade protection.
  • Small escalators totaling $3 million based on finishes in the MVP voting.
  • The guaranteed portion of the deal runs from 2013-19. The options cover 2020 and 2021.
  • The contract will be paid out as follows: $2M sign bonus, $750,000 in 2013, $1.25M in 2014, $5M in 2015 and 2016, $7M in 2017 and 2018, $11M in 2019, plus the options listed above.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports first reported the agreement.

Since the new pact overwrites Rizzo's existing one-year deal for 2013 and takes effect immediately, it buys out two pre-arbitration years, four arbitration years, and one free agent year. The club options cover two more free agent years. Rizzo would have qualified as a Super Two player following this season, hence the four years of arbitration-eligibility rather than the usual three.

Rizzo, 23, came into Sunday hitting .288/.361/.554 with nine home runs, tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the most among National League first baseman. At one point there was talk of sending him to Triple-A because he started slowly, but a recent hot streak has put an end to that speculation. Rizzo hit .285/.342/.463 with 15 homers in 87 games last year, his first on Chicago's north side.

The Cubs acquired Rizzo from the Padres as part of the trade that sent Andrew Cashner to San Diego during the 2011-12 offseason. The Padres originally acquired him from the Red Sox in December 2010, when Adrian Gonzalez was sent to Boston. Rizzo was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2007 draft by the BoSox.

The contract is the fourth of at least four years handed out by the team since the new Theo Epstein/Jed Hoyer regime took over in October 2011. In addition to Rizzo and Castro, they also gave Cuban-born outfield prospect Jorge Soler a nine-year, $30 million deal last June. Right-hander Edwin Jackson signed a four-year, $52 million contract as a free agent this past offseason.

Right-hander Jeff Samardzija could be next in line for a long-term contract. In fact, the Cubs have already made a few attempts to lock him up for the next few years. Right-hander Matt Garza, second baseman Darwin Barney and catcher Wellington Castillo could also receive consideration for a multi-year deal.

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