These are heady times to be a Cubs fan. I have always truly envied franchises that preemptively locked up their young talent.
Cleveland was really good at it back in the 90’s when they had a wealth of young stars coming through their organization. Tampa Bay has been sort of the model franchise of late.
Now the Cubs are among those smart organizations. That’s right, the Cubs. The franchise that let Greg Maddux walk is locking up young talent on club friendly deals. First it was Starlin Castro, and now it is Anthony Rizzo’s turn to be Evan Longoria-ed. Ken Rosenthal was the first to report the deal, a seven-year contract extension worth $41 million.
The deal runs through 2019 and, according to Rosenthal, includes two club options that could extend the deal through 2021, which would bring the total value of the contract to $70 million. Escalators could push the contract to $73 million. 2 club options, you read that right. This isn’t Stanton Cook’s Cubs anymore.
This deal comes on the heels of GM Jed Hoyer talking about not waving the white flag just yet, and his team taking 2 out of 3 from the Nationals.
Furthermore, Rosenthal drops this tidbit on us.
The club also would like to sign right-hander Jeff Samardzija and possibly righty Matt Garza to extensions as well.
New Samardzija paper would come as no surprise to many, but Garza would send some shock waves for sure. I’ve reported before that Garza indeed wants to stick around. However, it has been no secret the Cubs have been looking to cash in on their best trade chip. Could it just be public posturing to have Garza mentioned in same breath? That was my initial suspicion.
However, I’m told tonight that Garza could indeed be locked up if he is willing to take a discount, a now plausible scenario following a 10 month layoff.
I personally would not be completely shocked if the Cubs thought he could provide better value sticking around, if they can get him at their price. John has mentioned liking this scenario lately as well.
Either way the newly locked up Rizzo is showing some real growth of late, and coincidentally so is this organization.