CHICAGO (AP) — For the all of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Chicago Cubs, Anthony Rizzo is sure of one thing.
The star slugger wants to stay put.
Rizzo said Monday he is hopeful about signing a long-term deal with the club before his contract expires at the end of the season.
“This city and everything I love about the city, I kind of wear on my sleeve,” he said. “And I still love it. I still love our team. I still love what we have going on here.”
President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said last week he would discuss long-term contracts with Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Báez during spring training. All three players have expiring deals and are coming off difficult seasons. They also played huge roles in Chicago’s transformation from long-suffering, lovable losers to drought-busting champions.
“If these guys go out and do what they are accustomed to doing, I think those things do take care of themselves,” manager David Ross said. “You can’t worry about what’s going to happen next offseason. We’re wasting our time if we’re that far ahead. We need to focus on the daily process to get better.”
Speaking from the Cubs’ spring facility in Mesa, Arizona, Rizzo said preseason camp is the “perfect time” to discuss a new contract, but he didn’t rule out continuing talks once the season begins if an agreement isn’t reached.