Cubs exercise Anthony Rizzo's $16.5M option for 2020

Jesse RogersESPN Staff Writer2 Minute Read

CHICAGO -- One day after picking up the 2020 option on pitcher Jose Quintana, the Chicago Cubs did the same with former All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

Rizzo will make $16.5 million next season, the first of two option years the Cubs hold on him.

The Cubs also declined options on right-handers Brandon Morrow, Tony Barnette and Kendall Graveman. Morrow's option was for $12 million, and he will receive a $3 million buyout. Barnett and Graveman both had options for $3 million.

The Cubs have also declined the option on reliever David Phelps, who would have been paid $5 million based on making more than 40 appearances in 2019.

Rizzo, who won his third Gold Glove on Sunday, has been the heart and soul of the team since coming over from San Diego in a trade before the 2012 season. He has averaged 27 home runs and 90 RBIs during his time as a Cub. The popular lefty has stated on numerous occasions that he'd like to finish his career in Chicago. The team has an option on him in 2021 for $16.5 million, as well.

On Saturday, the Cubs picked up Quintana's $11.5 million option and declined pitcher Derek Holland's option for $7 million. Pitcher Yu Darvish and outfielder Jason Heyward also chose not to opt out of their long-term deals. The organization still has a decision to make on a team option for pitcher David Phelps. The team won't pick up injured reliever Brandon Morrow's option for 2020, but it hasn't made that move official yet.

Morrow, 35, agreed to a $21 million, two-year contract before the 2018 season and had 22 saves and a 1.47 ERA in 35 games when he was shut down that July because of a bone bruise in his right elbow. He had elbow surgery last Nov. 6 but has not pitched since.

Barnette, 35, signed a $750,000, one-year contract with the Cubs last winter, a deal that called for an increase to $1 million when he spent one day on the big league active roster. He started the season on the injured list with right elbow tightness, and after appearing in 12 games for Triple-A Iowa, he pitched twice for Chicago and was optioned back to Triple-A to open a roster spot for Craig Kimbrel. Barnett didn't report and was placed on the restricted list for the rest of the season.

Graveman, 28, had Tommy John surgery on July 24, 2018, and he became a free agent when Oakland failed to offer a 2019 contract. He signed a $575,000, one-year contract with the Cubs and made a pair of three-inning minor league injury rehabilitation appearances, on Aug. 22 for the Arizona League Cubs and for Iowa on Sept. 1.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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