The de facto captain of the Cubs will return next season.
To the surprise of no one, the Cubs have picked up Anthony Rizzo’s $16.5 million option for 2020, according to multiple reports. ESPN’s Jesse Rogers said that an official announcement from the Cubs should come later on Sunday.
Rizzo signed a seven-year, $41 million contract extension with the Cubs in May 2013, one of the most team-friendly deals in all of baseball. The 30-year-old first baseman is a model of consistency for the Cubs, holding a .277/.376/.496 slash line in eight seasons on the North Side, all while playing stellar defense.
2019 was one of Rizzo’s finest seasons yet. He hit .293, posted a career-best .405 on-base percentage hit 27 home runs to go along with 94 RBIs and is a Gold Glove Award finalist for the fourth-time.
While that production is excellent, Rizzo’s leadership and clubhouse presence are equally important to the Cubs, too. Case in point: despite suffering a gruesome ankle sprain on Sept. 15, one that was expected to keep him out for a few weeks, Rizzo returned just four days later. He was somewhat limited on the bases, but with the Cubs still in the thick of the postseason race, Rizzo wanted to help the team any way possible.
"You get the questions of waiting a couple more days, but we don't have a couple more days," Rizzo said on Sept. 19. "We gotta win now. And I love this team...I love playing. That's what I want to do. It's what I love doing — playing baseball, especially for this team that we're fighting at Wrigley Field in late September to go to the playoffs and that's where all the magic happens."
The Cubs obviously didn’t make it to October, and they announced on the final day of the regular season that manager Joe Maddon wouldn’t return in 2020. David Ross will takeover in his place, which likely will be the first of many changes the Cubs make this winter. But regardless of what moves they make, one of the most important figures in the Cubs clubhouse is going nowhere.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.