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Cubs exercise Rizzo’s 2021 option, decline Descalso’s

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The Cubs have exercised the option on Anthony Rizzo’s contract, the team announced Saturday.

No surprises there. The Cubs were expected to pick up the $16.5 million option after the first baseman’s ninth season with the club. In that time, Rizzo has been named an All-Star three times and won three Golden Gloves.

When asked after the season if he was worried he might be forced into free agency, Rizzo said, “I’m not worried about that stuff. This life will take care of itself; everything will take care of itself the way it’s supposed to.”

Rizzo has been open about wanting to stay in Chicago long-term. Before the 2020 season, he and his representation had “conceptual talks,” as president of baseball operations Theo Epstein described them, about an extension.

Whether similar talks will solidify into an agreement this offseason has yet to be seen. Major League Baseball’s uncertain financial picture in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is certain to color any conversations on the subject.

Infielder Daniel Descalso and pitcher Jon Lester were the other two Cubs with 2021 options. The Cubs also announced Saturday that they had declined Descalso’s club option, triggering a $1 million buyout.

On Friday they declined Lester’s option, opting for a $10 million buyout. But that doesn’t eliminate the possibility that Lester and the Cubs could agree to new terms for next year.