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Monday, May 13, 2013

Cubs Lock Up Rizzo

Wild on Sports
Cubs Lock Up Rizzo
By Wild on Sports Analyst Jason Gillson

There is not a whole lot of good in Cubby Nation these days. The team checks in at 15-22, good for last place in the NL Central. Want a little more salt in those wounds? Well, I could remind you that the Cubs organization has not won a World Series in over 100 years. Yes, that is a 1 with TWO zeros. It is seemingly more and more unlikely that any Cubs fan who saw the last WS victory will be with us to see the next.

Sorry Cubs fans. Hate me yet?

Well, before you start sending in all the hate mail and death treats I have a bit of good news for you...

As of Sunday night, multiple media outlets are reporting that the Cubs have reached an agreement with first baseman Anthony Rizzo on a seven-year, $41 million contract extension. The deal includes two option years that could bring the total value in the neighborhood of $70 million

Rizzo is one of, if not THE only bright spot on the Cubbies roster at the moment. He leads the team with .280 average, 9 HRS and 28 RBI. Rizzo was acquired from the San Diego Padres prior to the 2012 season in a deal that sent pitcher Andrew Cashner to southern California.

Rizzo really is a very talented offensive presence. He has looked very good in short stints in both 2011 with the Padres and last season with the Cubs, but most of his playing time over the past few seasons has been at the AAA level, not ML. The only question is can he sustain it for an entire season? That is a big commitment to a guy who spent half of last season in AAA. In this case however, the risk and unusual contract for a young player very well may be worth the it long term. Theo Epstin and Jed Hoyer drafted Rizzo back in 2007 with the Red Sox. They both got to watch his development first had for several years before shipping him to the Padres as part of the Adrian Gonzalez deal. If anyone knows what he is capable it is them.

There you go Cubs fans! A little tidbit for you to get excited about. OK, you can go back to hiding now. We will see you again for the 2nd pick in June's draft.


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