The Chicago Cubs and first baseman Anthony Rizzo have agreed to terms on a seven-year contract (2013-19) that includes club options for an eighth season in 2020 and a ninth season in 2021. The contract covers Rizzo's final two pre-arbitration seasons, his four arbitration seasons and his first free agent season, plus his second and third free agent seasons if the two club options are exercised. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Overall, the contract at a minimum covers all of Rizzo's playing time throughout the rest of his 20s, as the 23-year-old will turn 30 during the seventh season of this deal. If the options are exercised, it would take him to 32-years-old.
Since being recalled by the Cubs last June 26, Rizzo has batted .283 (136-for-480) with 25 doubles, 24 home runs and 76 RBI in only 124 games, numbers that are equivalent to 33 doubles, 31 home runs and 99 RBI when projected over the course of 162 games. Rizzo has posted a .345 on-base percentage and a .485 slugging percentage, good for an .830 OPS with the Cubs.
Rizzo's 24 home runs, 136 hits and .830 OPS all rank second among National League first basemen in the span since his call-up last season, while his .283 batting average ranks third, and his 76 RBI and 25 doubles are fifth. His .995 fielding percentage at first base is tied for second among all players since last June 26.
Rizzo was the number one prospect in the San Diego Padres farm system when he was acquired by the Cubs on January 6, 2012 as part of a four-player trade. He batted .342 (88-for-257) with 18 doubles, two triples, 23 home runs and 62 RBI in 70 games with Iowa last season to earn the promotion to the big leagues. He posted a 1.101 OPS and departed Triple-A ranked first or among Pacific Coast League leaders in nearly every offensive category.
Through 37 games this year, Rizzo is batting .280 (40-for-143) with 10 doubles, nine home runs and 28 RBI. He has a .352 on-base percentage and a .538 slugging percentage, good for an .890 OPS. Rizzo's nine homers tie for the league lead among first basemen while his 28 RBI rank second.
Rizzo was originally selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 Draft out of high school. He was limited to 21 minor league games in 2008 after being diagnosed with Limited Stage Classical Hodgkins Lymphoma in late April. He returned a season later to lead all Red Sox minor leaguers with a .368 on-base percentage.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Rizzo was named the Red Sox Offensive co-Player of the Year in 2010 before being traded to San Diego as part of the five-player deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston on December 6, 2010.
Rizzo began the 2011 campaign by hitting .365 (73-for-200) with 16 home runs and 63 RBI in his first 52 Triple-A games to earn his first call-up to the big leagues, making his debut on June 9. He spent six weeks in the big leagues before returning to Triple-A on July 22. Rizzo was recalled to the majors September 4 and combined to bat .141 (18-for-128) with eight doubles, one triple, one homer and nine RBI in 49 big league games in 2011.
The Parkland, Fla. native and his family last year began the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation to raise money for cancer research and to provide support to children and their families battling the disease. The foundation's inaugural "Walk Off For Cancer" charity walk last year raised nearly $100,000 for those in need.