SOUTH HILLS COMMAND CENTER – On Monday the Cubs locked up their young, talented first baseman Anthony Rizzo with a seven-year, $41 million deal, a contract that includes a couple club options. While it’s life-changing money for a 23-year-old, it’s probably going to be a mega bargain for the Cubs.
In the early 1990s, then Cleveland GM John Hart began the trend of signing young, core players to long-term contracts, buying out arbitration years and in some cases several years of free agency. It was smart business for the small-market Indians, allowing the Tribe to keep their core together through the mid ’90s.
Most recently Tampa Bay has been the most aggressive in locking up young talent, most famously signing Evan Longoria to a six-year $17.5 million deal six days after he was called up in 2008. In total the deal will be worth $44 million over nine years, as it included three club options which were incorporated into his recent 10-year contract extension.
It’s widely regarded as the most club-friendly deal in modern history. Continue reading When is it time to lock up Starling Marte? …. Yesterday