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Anthony Rizzo Pauses Contract Talks With Cubs to Focus on Season

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said he has instructed his agents to end negotiations over a new contract with the team so that he can focus on the upcoming season, according to ESPN

The 31-year-old is entering the final season of two team option years following the conclusion of his seven-year, $41 million contract in 2019.

"It doesn't look like at this time anything is going to be finalized," Rizzo told ESPN on Monday. "With [the] Opening Day deadline, we feel really strong about it. We've had enough time to talk and figure it out. I've told my agents not to talk to me about it anymore."

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported the Cubs have made an offer to the four-time Gold Glove winner, but the two sides are far from an agreement. 

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Rizzo is one of three core members of the 2016 Cubs World Series team, along with Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, who can become free agents at the end of the upcoming season.

According to ESPN, Rizzo is seeking a multi-year contract that would be valued at around $100 million. However, the three-time All-Star said he would be willing to listen to new offers from the Cubs later in the season. 

"When you think of the actual business side of it, you can't just be naïve to think that just because of what I've done here, and what I've expressed, they're just going to hand me a contract," Rizzo said. "Have to go out and earn it. I look forward to just continuing to play."