MLB

Yankees, Anthony Rizzo agree to two-year, $34 million deal in MLB free agency, per report

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The New York Yankees and free agent first baseman Anthony Rizzo have agreed to a two-year, $34 million deal with a club option for 2025 at $17 million, according to YES Network. Rizzo had previously declined his $16 million player option for 2023 and then the qualifying offer (one year, $19.65 million) that the Yankees previously extended him.

With the way things turned out, it seems like a win-win. 

Rizzo spent nearly 10 years with the Cubs — after a quick stint in San Diego — before being traded to the Yankees at the 2021 trade deadline. He then went back to the Yankees on a one-year deal before 2022 and hit .224/.338/.480 (131 OPS+) with 21 doubles, 32 homers, 75 RBI, 77 runs and 2.3 WAR. The 32 home runs tied a career high (he’s now hit exactly 32 homers in four different seasons) and he flashed his customary leather at first base. 

Rizzo was ranked No. 12 on CBS Sports top 50 free agents this offseason

Something else to ponder here is Rizzo’s BABIP (batting average on balls in play, which excludes strikeouts and home runs) was just .216. He’s a left-handed hitter who pulled the ball 38.3 percent of the time last year and hit it to center field 45.1 percent of the time. With the new shift constraints coming in 2023, it’s entirely possible Rizzo’s average rises a bit without him even having to make any adjustments at the plate. 

The Yankees’ offense at the moment still looks incomplete with Aaron Judge sitting in free agency, but bringing Rizzo back provides some punch. The middle-order beef at present would be Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres with the team apparently hoping that Josh Donaldson can have a bounce-back season at age 37. 

The top priority for the Yankees remains bringing back Judge, but getting Rizzo back so early in free agency has to feel like a little bit of a relief for the front office. It’s just one less thing to worry about as they try to retain Judge’s services while also being able to offer up Rizzo as some left-handed protection for the big man. 



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