As they did with Starlin Castro a year ago, the Cubs have moved quickly to lock up first baseman Anthony Rizzo to a long-term contract, giving them a chance to build a team around him into the next decade. The deal is reportedly a seven-year deal with $41 million with two club options for $14.5 million that could bring the total to $73 million. Some may criticize Cubs President Theo Epstein for committing to Rizzo, but this is a smart move. Rizzo is an excellent defender at first base and his offensive production continues to improve and he does not turn 24 years old until August. Like the Castro deal, Rizzo's deal is team friendly while leaving resources for the Cubs to jump into the free agent market when the Cubs are closer to contending.
Roy Halladay met with a shoulder specialist in Los Angeles on Monday. After that meeting, he is encouraged that he will pitch again this season. Halladay expects to have arthroscopic surgery next week to remove a bone spur, and repair a partial tear in the rotator cuff and some fraying in the labrum. Since last season, the Phillies haven't known what was going on with Halladay. He didn't seem right in spring training last year, and he did some time on the disabled list with what was described as an injury to his upper back. He was supposed to be back to normal when he returned to Clearwater, Fla., this spring, but it quickly became apparent this was going to be a new normal for Halladay. There is no way to put a timetable on his return to the Phillies rotation.