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Cubs Sign First Baseman Anthony Rizzo to Contract Extension

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Chicago Cubs may still be a few years from contending, but their rebuilding process will have Anthony Rizzo in the fold for years to come as the Cubs have rewarded the first baseman with a seven-year contract worth $41 million.

Still just 23-years-old, Rizzo is showing why he was a highly-touted prospect for so many years. In his first season as a full-time starter, Rizzo is hitting .280 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs in 37 games.

His new deal will prevent him from hitting the free agent market until after the 2018 season. Rizzo's new contract also includes two club options that could make the deal worth as much as $73 million over nine years.

Rizzo originally was a sixth-round pick of the Boston Red Sox when Theo Epstein was running the show for the team. He was then traded to San Diego in the Adrian Gonzalez switch. Rizzo's career then came full circle when Epstein, now the general manager of the Cubs, traded for Rizzo prior to the 2012 season.

Even though the Cubs have players in place like Rizzo and Starlin Castro, they are just 15-22 so far this year and the rebuilding process will be one that will require further patience from Cubs fans.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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