The Cubs, from the moment they acquired first baseman Anthony Rizzo 16 months ago, viewed him as a significant part of their future.
Now, they can guarantee it long-term.
The Cubs have reached agreement with Rizzo on a seven-year, $41 million contract through 2019, according to major-league sources. The deal also includes two club options and escalators that could extend the deal to 2021 and bring the total value of the package to $73 million, sources said.
Rizzo, who has just over a year of major-league service, is earning $498,000 season. His new deal will include an immediate increase for 2013 while covering all four of his arbitration years -- Rizzo was on track for Super Two status -- and his first free-agent year.
The contract is in excess of the one that first baseman Paul Goldschmidt recently received from the Diamondbacks -- a five-year, $32 million extension from 2014 to '18, with a $14.5 million club option for '19 that could bring the total package to six years, $46....