Why Cubs, Anthony Rizzo, have chance for deal a year after Cubs said no

MESA, Arizona — If Fernando Tatis Jr.’s $340 million contract extension with the small-market Padres, in a pandemic economy, says anything about Major League Baseball, it’s that even the owners know the pandemic hasn’t killed their golden goose.

“Listen, this game’s doing well,” said Cubs veteran All-Star Anthony Rizzo, the one-time Padre. “We’re making a lot of money with the product, and a guy like Tatis Jr. — he’s exciting for the game.”

Why did Rizzo get asked to comment on all that money in the game Monday in relation to the little team with two $300 million contracts on the books (also Manny Machado)? Because he’s one of three key Cubs players in their “walk” years — and perhaps the most likely of any of them to find enough common ground to get an extension done with the club.

Team president Jed Hoyer said recently he expects to have conversations with several Cubs about their futures with the team and possible extensions.

“Obviously, seeing Jed’s comments and just getting to talk to Jed about the team has been nice,” said Rizzo, who makes $16.5 million this year on a team-friendly contract he has outperformed since signing it in 2013. “Obviously, everything I love about this city, I kind of wear it on my sleeve, and I still love it. I still love our team. I still love what we have going on here, and keeping everything here inside this building would be the smartest…

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