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Last updated: May 14. 2013 12:31AM - 1685 Views

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CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs have viewed Anthony Rizzo as a part of their future since they acquired him.


Now he’s locked in.


The slugging first baseman and the Cubs agreed Monday to a $41 million, seven-year contract that could be worth up to $68 million over nine seasons.


“We believe in Anthony,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “We think he’s going to be a very big part of our future here in Chicago, and we’re excited to get a deal done.


The 23-year-old is hitting .280 with a .352 on-base percentage. He also has nine home runs and 28 RBIs in his third major league season.


Rizzo realized that he was taking “maybe a little bit of a discount now” but said “it’s security for now and it’s a huge weight off my shoulder, my family’s shoulders, my kids’ shoulders, my grandkids’ shoulders.”


Rizzo gets a $2 million signing bonus, of which $250,000 is payable within 30 days of the contract’s approval by Major League Baseball and $1.75 million is payable next Jan. 15.


He receives a $750,000 salary this year, up from $498,000 under the agreement he reached in March. He then will earn $1.25 million next year, $5 million apiece in 2015 and 2016, $7 million each in 2017 and 2018 and $11 million in 2019.


Chicago has a $14.5 million option for 2020 with a $2 million buyout. If that is exercised, the Cubs will have a $14.5 million for 2021 with a $2 million buyout.


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