Anthony Rizzo was traded to the New York Yankees in 2021, before the July deadline.
Before that, however, he spent nine and a half years with the Chicago Cubs and was a big part of the World Series-winning squad in 2016.
Chicago hadn’t won a World Series in decades, so yes; you can say fans love Rizzo in Chicago.
After another subpar season in 2022, they are eager to return to relevancy in 2023, but they need good players for that to happen.
Rizzo remains, even at 33, a very solid player capable of offering a quality left-handed bat and an adequate glove at first base.
Cubs fans would love for him to return.
— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone) November 8, 2022
Rizzo had a strong season with the Yankees in 2022 and just declined a player option worth $16 million for the 2023 campaign, making him a free agent.
What Will Rizzo Do?
He did it because he feels he can get a multi-year contract.
Are the Cubs prepared to offer him one?
Does the team have a foundation in place to compete as soon as next year?
The answer might be yes and no.
Yes, the Cubs theoretically have money to spend.
However, they may not be ready to give Rizzo a concrete chance of making the playoffs next year.
The Cubs appear to be a couple of years from truly competing, but Rizzo can certainly help accelerate that timeline.
In 130 games last season, he hit 32 home runs, scored 77 runs, drove in 75, and slashed .224/.338/.480.
The average may not be pretty, but he had a 132 wRC+, with 100 representing league-average offensive production.
He still can contribute, and Cubs fans would love to see him retire wearing blue.