The Cubs don’t appear to be willing or able to spend much in free agency, but they are reportedly planning to talk with Javy Báez about the possibility of an extension. Scott Boras said Tuesday that he is “more than willing” to discuss a new deal for Kris Bryant, who has been the focus of more trade rumors than you can shake a stick at. One player with whom the Cubs will not be speaking, however, is Anthony Rizzo.
“The Cubs have informed us that they will not be offering Anthony an extension at this time,” Rizzo’s agent, Marc Pollack, told Jesse Rogers and others at the Winter Meetings. “Anthony has let his desire to be a Cub for life known to the organization. Although we do not know what the future holds, a deal to make that happen will not be addressed now.”
This isn’t really a surprise given Rizzo’s current contract situation and the Cubs’ desire to limit spending through at least this winter. The club exercised its $16.5 million option on the first baseman last month and still has another for the same figure next season, so there’s no rush to get anything done. And with the potential to extend Báez and/or Bryant, as unlikely as that seems at this point, hammering out a long-term deal for Rizzo simply isn’t a priority.
I get that the business side of the game is heavily influencing the club’s decisions right now and that it was never going to be possible to keep everyone. With the way things are looking for the Cubs right now, however, business interests could end up forcing some really unpopular moves that will negatively impact the success of Marquee Sports Network and other interests. After all, the winning ways of an expensive team were supposed to generate more than enough revenue to keep payroll high.
Now it appears as though the failure to maintain a certain level of success has resulted in the inability to justify payroll expenditures. There’s probably an analogy in here about cooking their goose before it could lay a golden egg, but that’s perhaps a little too involved. And since Boras already met the bird-talk quota yesterday, I’m worried someone would cry fowl if I pushed it further.
Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled trade rumor programming.