first base man Anthony RizzoA source told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, who finished last season with the Yankees after a deal from the Chicago Cubs, agreed to a multi-year contract Tuesday night to return to New York, pending a physical examination.
A source said the contract is for two years and $32 million with a no-participation clause after one season.
During his decade-long career with the Cubs, Rizzo has been as reliable as anyone in the batting box and on the field. He has been a consistent All-Star and Gold Glove winner and has been voted MVP in five consecutive seasons. But his numbers have declined over the past two seasons, culminating in trade with New York.
Rizzo got off to a hot start with his new team, but a game with COVID-19 interrupted his second half. He still ran 22 home runs split between the Cubs and Yankees, but his .783 OPS was its lowest since 2013.
Rizzo’s defense hasn’t hurt as he gets older, and permanent back ailment hasn’t stopped him from being in the squad for more than a few days at a time. He’s still a reliable left-handed bat, but he may never become an MVP-caliber again.
Rizzo is just one of five left-handed hitters in the long history of the Cubs to have achieved 30 or more home runs in a single season. He is one of two players who have done this multiple times. He averaged 29 times over seven years, helping the Cubs post-season from 2015 to 2018.
He has also been the de facto captain of the team, signing a long-term contract with Cubs in 2013. That expired last year after Cubs chose the two-year team option in 2020 and 2021. The two sides discussed another deal as recently as this past spring but after no agreement was reached. , Rizzo traded to the Yankees the day before the last summer’s trading deadline.
New York, after a slow start, rallied with Rizzo & Co. to make the post-season, as the Yankees were eliminated by the Boston Red Sox, another team prominently mentioned in the trade rumors once Rizzo became available.
The agreement will likely take the Yankees out of the mix for his first baseman and free agent Freddy Freemanit also creates some uncertainty for the first man base Luke Voigtthe 2020 AFC Champions League champion who played in only 68 matches during the injured 2021.
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