anthony rizzo happy celebrationThe Chicago Cubs have locked up another core piece for a long time, signing first baseman Anthony Rizzo to a seven-year, $41 million extension, according to multiple reports. The deal includes the 2013 season, so it runs through 2019, and is more like a six-year extension than a seven-year extension. It buys out one free agent year, though, so you could even characterize it as a one-year extension, and you wouldn’t be totally wrong. The deal keeps Rizzo with the Cubs through at least his age 29 season. As you would expect from this front office, the contract does not include a no-trade clause.

The deal includes two team options tacked onto the end, and the total value of the deal could reach $73 million, according to Ken Rosenthal, who had the deal first. The final structure of the deal hasn’t yet been announced, but you can expect that there will probably be a modest signing bonus, and then annually increasing salaries for 2014 through 2019.

Rizzo, 23, was (very likely) eligible for arbitration in 2015 as a Super Two, so the deal covers two pre-arb seasons, four arbitration seasons, and one free agent year. Obviously the real value for the Cubs is the cost certainty and the two option years, which are reportedly for $14.5 million – that could be a steal come 2020 and 2021. Baseball is all about locking up your young talent these days, and the Cubs are not playing the exception.

For Rizzo, he now has his huge payday locked in, and is set for life. I love these pre-arbitration extensions, as they represent one of the few times you can really achieve a win-win for the team and the player, where both sides feel like they got a great deal.

Your quick ballpark (read: me totally guesstimating) on what Rizzo would have received via arbitration had he not signed this deal (assuming he keeps developing and producing) is something like … $500K this year, $600K for 2014, $4 million for 2015, $6 million for 2016, $9 million for 2017, $12 million for 2018, and $17 million for 2019. That’s about $49 million, and that doesn’t include the value of the option years, so this looks like a pretty team-friendly extension, though not one that absolutely blows you away.

That’s not to say that this comes without risk, of course: by guaranteeing all this money up front, the Cubs assume the risk of Rizzo’s knee exploding or his batting eye falling out of his head. That’s the trade-off for the team-friendly deal.

Together with Starlin Castro’s extension signed last August, the Cubs now have Rizzo and Castro under contract through 2019. If you’re looking for the prime window of competitiveness, you can bet the Cubs hope it will last from around 2015 to 2019, at least.

The Rizzo extension has not been formally announced just yet, and I expect we’ll see a fancy press conference scheduled soon.

UPDATE for posterity: It’s now official.

  • arealpoy

    Just woke up to this! Great news for Rizzo and the team.

  • KidCubbie

    Outstanding. I love this on both sides.

  • Die hard

    Good move — need a slugging 3B in the draft and Cubs can pound opposition to defeat–

  • CubFan Paul

    I’m not a prophet but I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  • Oswego Chris

    I like this move…this is the new blueprint for MLB front offices, and why you will rarely ever see good to great players become free-agents prior to 29 or 30…

    It’s a bit dicier with pitchers though, so we will see what happens with Jeff S.

  • sven-erik312

    Good Morning Everyone, When I read Bretts post about Rizzo, it’s lunch time here in Sweden you guys are just waking up!. You’re an early bird, Brett. That’s good news. Great win yesterday, good to see us win a game at someone elses expense for a change. My second guessing question was however: Why didn’t Sweeny bunt? Barney didn’t get a hit, but his shot would have gotten home a run anyway.

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    Seems to be a really good deal for the Cubs. Or at least a perfect example of what Epstein/Hoyer want to do. 5-6 more like this, and we have a team.

    • BluBlud

      5 or 6 more like this, and every team would “have a team” 😉

    • Brett

      Ha. I like your name and avatar. Well done.

  • Hansman1982

    Wait, if the cubs are bumping his salary and giving him a bonus…how does that square with the Cubs being broke?

    • BluBlud

      I was thinking the same thing. Are the Cubs broke, or aren’t they? This is starting to get confusing. Could they be willing to spend a lillte more now because the renovations are almost approved? I would love an answer.

      • Hansman1982

        Ill stop hijacking what’s supposed to be a happy thread.

        This is awesome for both sides. Rizzo is a beast now and I’m just gonna let myself get carried away.


      • twinkletoez

        It is possible that they have been planning this extension for a while and the money was already accounted for.

  • BluBlud

    This is great for both sides. I’m happy for Rizzo. This is also a great deal for the Cubs. The get several prime years of Rizzo, at what they think will be a value price. Also, if they chose to trade him at soom point(Only if someone comes along better), this has to only add to his trade value. Very smart deal for both sides. Lets go Cubbies.

  • Rich

    ok the Holiday Inn Express jokes are old and stale..

    please move on..

  • Justin

    Brett, so did the Cubs payroll for this year go up around $5mill. with this extension? I think the real value in the extension is the option yrs for the Cubs like you mentioned. If he keeps improving $14.5 Mill is an absolute bargain when he is in his prime..

    • Brett

      Tough to answer until we see the particulars. If he got a signing bonus and bumped salary for 2013, the portion that’s paid out in this season will be counted toward the 2013 payroll for MLB purposes. How the Cubs internally budget that stuff, I don’t know.

      But the answer to your question is: probably.

  • cjdubbya

    Add me to the pile of people that love this move.

  • Kenster

    I don’t get it.. How do I keep seeing that he was super 2 eligible everywhere when I thought that was the reason the Cubs held him at AAA for so long last year.. Didn’t he pass the cutoff time?

    • Brett

      The service time issue with Rizzo last year was the extra year of control (which they did get), not Super Two. The Cubs would have had to keep him down until late August to prevent Super Two.

      It’s worth remembering things like this extension when folks get all up in arms about calling up a prospect: by waiting on Rizzo for an extra month, the Cubs saved about $10 million in this extension.

      • Kenster

        Gotcha gotcha thanks for clarifying. I thought that since he got the extra year he also avoided the super 2 but I guess I was wrong. It worked out anyways because it was a steal!

  • @cubsfantroy

    I read about this last night. I was happy about it, I think it is a steal. I would love to see some more bargain deals like this with some core pieces.

  • Clark Addison

    Want does Vogelbach think of this?

    • Scotti

      I would assume he’s happy knowing that when the Cubs trade Rizzo to make room for him the Cubs are likely to give him a contract extension…

  • Cedlandrum

    I hope that Rizzo is the player that we think he can be, but this extension seems a bit premature. He has all of one season’s worth of at bats. It would have made more sense to see how the rest of this season pans out before giving such an extension.

    • Brett

      I actually tend to agree, though maybe he was, himself, pushing for the extension (and the Cubs thought he was offering them a bargain).

      • Cedlandrum

        I am sure you are right. I mean I don’t hate it, certainly am surprised.

    • bbmoney

      Yeah, it seemed like next off-season was the logical time to do this assuming he continues playing well.

      That said, I still love it. Even if he gets no better, it’s not a bad deal and provides cost certainty.

    • mjhurdle

      While I agree that Rizzo still has a lot to prove, it is also true that the Cubs may not have been able to get this deal at the end of this season. To get a deal that is potentially as favorable to the Cubs as this one is, you have to sign early when the player is still relatively un-proven. If they wait until he proves himself more, and he is actually as good as we think (and hope) he is, then the Cubs lose some leverage and wouldn’t necessarily get this favorable of a contract.
      Rizzo is on pace for 30+ HRs, 120+ RBIs, and a .280ish BA. Of course that doesn’t mean he will actually achieve that, but if he somehow did do you think he signs this deal?

      • Noah

        Exactly. Every season that goes by that he has success his price goes up, even on these team friendly deals. The earlier you sign, the more team friendly it can be.

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  • ssckelley

    I think this is a better deal for the Cubs than the deal they gave Castro.

    Time to invest in some Rizzo jerseys for my boys, it appears he is going to be a Cub for quite some time.

  • Featherstone

    Love, Love, Love this extension. If the Cubs want to be able to eventually flex their big-market muscles on FA’s they need to make sure they are capitalizing on below-market deals for their own players first. Yes there is definitely some risk involved, but nothing ventured nothing gained.

    • FFP

      And on the second yes, this does a lot to continue to create an organization that a FA would be attracted to. (My apologies to Rizzo for comparing him (and his contract) to a new clubhouse.)

  • Timmy

    First good signing of the Epstein administration, hopefully with more to come.

    • DarthHater

      Right. Because that Castro extension last year was really a terrible signing.

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  • North Side Irish

    Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS 2m
    Rizzo: $2M sign bonus, $750K in ’13m $1.25M in ’14, $5M in ’15 & ’16, $7M in ’17 & ’18, $11M in ’19, cubs option $14.5M in ’20 & ’21

    A bit backloaded, but I think it’s going to be a bargain…

    • ssckelley

      Wow, that is a very good deal for the Cubs.

    • Kyle

      Backloading is a good thing, and in this case represents what would have happened had he stayed on the arbitration track.

      Very solid deal. This is just what smart teams do now.

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  • Kramden

    Just think what this says to Cub prospects in Daytona, Kane County, Iowa and Tennessee…

    If this doesn’t motivate and light a fire under them, nothing will.

  • Die hard

    Signing up Castro and Rizzo sets ceiling on Appel? What if Appels agent has other ideas?