It’s a question worth asking as Rizzo enters the final year of his contract with the Cubs.
In an offseason once again filled with semi-meaningless free agency signings and watching the club get rid of talented players, fans are wondering if this is only the beginning of tearing things down.
Rizzo, for one, still believes in what this team is and can be. At least there’s one of us out there who still believes.
“This city and everything about this city, I kind of wear on my sleeve. And I still love it. I still love our team. I still love what we have going on here.” (via ESPN)
Maybe he’s an eternal optimist, which is likely, considering you very rarely see the guy without a smile on his face. Or, maybe he’s somewhat in denial.
“I just want to go out and continue to have that big smile and play the game hard. That’s all you can do every day. At the end of this year, I’ll look back with no regrets. Every day, you just enjoy it. Life’s too short; the game’s too short.”
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) February 22, 2021
There is no doubt Rizzo can and will receive interest from other teams if he is allowed to test free agency next offseason — and he could land somewhere much more promising in terms of the potential for another World Series ring.
Jed Hoyer said that he would be open to discussing long-term deals for guys like Rizzo, Javy Baez and Kris Bryant during spring training. Well, it’s here, and hopefully those talks lead somewhere for Rizzo, at the very least.
The Cubs would be wise to hold onto Rizzo and Baez, with Bryant being the most likely trade candidate.
Cubs manager David Ross seems unfazed by the contract situations, though.
“If these guys go out and do what they are accustomed to doing, I think those things do take care of themselves. You can’t worry about what’s going to happen next offseason. We’re wasting our time if we’re that far ahead.” (via ESPN)
Both Ross and Rizzo seemed very cool and collected when speaking about the contract situations at hand, with Rizzo citing that he and his teammates are “all professionals.” Rizzo said that none of them will have a hand in their negotiations and will allow their agents to do all of the talking.
As for the upcoming season, Rizzo knows he and his guys haven’t done nearly enough to warrant any hype. He mentioned that they just need to go out and prove it, stating that last year shouldn’t dictate what you do this year.
Rizzo is correct. Things can change quickly in this league. While it may look grim now, you never know who or what could come out of nowhere to surprise. Odds are, the Cubs don’t compete for a title. But, maybe they make things interesting and chase a Wild Card spot. For now, let’s all just be thankful that baseball is back.