The Cubs continue to not only identify their core players, but put their money with their mouth is too. After inking Starlin Castro to a 7-year extension last summer, they’ve done the same with Anthony Rizzo this year.
There are always two ways to look at deals for young players–1) it’s a risk to hand out a lot of years and dollars to players who haven’t yet completely established themselves at this level (although, in Castro’s case, he had a pretty large body of work in the big leagues for his age) and/or 2) by signing them now, you potentially save a lot of money down the road.
I think both deals come with very little risk actually. The total outlay is just north of $100 million for both combined in terms of the guaranteed money and the way I look at it is this–you see that both are already good players and have very high ceilings. If they reach their potential, their deals are a total bargain by the time they are 27. And even in the very remote chance they never do maximize their potential, the Cubs haven’t committed that much money in the big picture. Castro and Rizzo fit the exact profile of the type of player the Cubs want long-term–young and affordable with tons of upside.
So, bottom line, these are prudent financial decisions for the long-term that at best could be the steals of the decade and at worst realistically, become tradable contracts in a few years.