Why Cubs' Ian Happ can't envision Anthony Rizzo with another team

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Stephanie Stremplewski
·2 min read
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Why Happ can't envision Rizzo with another team originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Anthony Rizzo's future with the Cubs is uncertain.

Rizzo talked to media in a Zoom press conference Monday and hushed talks with the Cubs after it was believed the club offered a four-year extension for a little more average annual value than the $16.5 million his contract pays in 2021.

"I don't know if anybody can really see Anthony Rizzo not in the pinstripes at Wrigley Field," Ian Happ said on 670 The Score Tuesday.

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The 31-year-old Rizzo is entering the second of two-team option years after completing a seven-year, $41 million contract signed with the Cubs in 2019.

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With the Opening Day deadline approaching, Rizzo is uncertain about a contract extension. Fans might see Rizzo as a free agent next fall.

Javy Báez and Kris Bryant are also on the verge of becoming free agents after the 2021 season. Happ believes it will be hard for him and fans to imagine new team changes after winning a historic championship with guys like Rizzo, Báez and Bryant.

"As a player, I think you have to really enjoy your teammates, you have to enjoy what it means to play with them, the advice and some of the small things, some of the day-to-day things that those guys bring to the table," Happ said.

Days away from Opening Day, Happ is preparing for the upcoming season by settling his "quirks" in spring training.

"Everybody has a different quirk," Happ said.

Happ's quirks involved getting his offense mechanisms down.

"I was really going to the opposite field well, then I said, 'Alright. Now I gotta pull a ball in the air'. And I finally pulled a ball in the air with kinda true backspin.

"I was like, 'Alright. Before we leave, I'm gonna need a backside line drive and really feel like I'm locked in.'"

Happ completed his goal after hitting a backside line drive double against the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

And Rizzo's quirk?

"The other day, Rizzo flew out to the warning track opposite field and said, 'Man, I've been waiting for one of those all spring.'"

The Cubs will start off the regular season against the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday at Wrigley Field.

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