Last week the New York Yankees surprised everyone at the trade deadline. While many were talking about the team going after Trevor Story, Brian Cashman was working behind the scenes on acquiring a new first baseman.
Out of no where, the Yankees acquired the Cubs star first baseman Anthony Rizzo. The movement immediately paid off over the weekend as the Yankees swept the Marlins and Rizzo had one of the best first weekend’s you can imagine.
Rizzo slugged two mammoth homers and came up clutch in all three games. It wasn’t just with his bat, Rizzo showed off the leather yesterday when he turned a crucial double play in the eighth inning.
After the sweep, the Yankees are just 2.5 games out of the second wild card and now they’re only 5.5 games behind Boston for the first wild card. Rizzo and Joey Gallo’s acquisition really put some life into this team.
#Yankees hierarchy has to already be thinking of how/how much to sign Rizzo this winter. An intelligent hitter, excellent defender, relatable guy. And a strong arm, too, which is what separates elite first basemen from the very good.
— Bob Klapisch (@BobKlap) August 2, 2021
Yankees change of direction?
While Joey Gallo was a big acquisition, the Yankees needed someone like Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo also swings from the left side, but he rarely strikes out. You have to go back to 2016 to find a season where Rizzo struck out more than 100 times.
His elite defense at first is going to make everyone in the infield better. The Yankees had a good first baseman in Luke Voit, but in reality, Anthony Rizzo is better for this club all the way around.
With that said, has Rizzo already altered the Yankees offseason plans? By all indications, the Yankees were going to be looking at the star-studded shortstop market in free agency this year.
It looked like the Yankees were poised to make another big splash. However, Anthony Rizzo could be changing those plans. Instead of using a ton of money to sign a star shortstop, the Yankees could save a ton and keep their first baseman.
Rizzo would likely command a similar deal if not a little more than the team gave to DJ LeMahieu last off season. Would be pennies compared to some of the figures that are being thrown out there by shortstops like Corey Seager.
If the Yankees were to sign Rizzo, they could keep him at first and save a ton of money. That would also allow them the flexibility to trade Luke Voit. If they still wanted to sign a new shortstop, they could also look at Gerrit Cole’s brother-in-law, Brandon Crawford.
That would allow the Yankees to potentially trade Gleyber Torres for additional pitching help. One thing I know, Anthony Rizzo just looks like the perfect Yankee in every way. The way he answers questions, the leadership, and the play on the field. Don’t be shocked if he wears pinstripes the rest of his career.