Despite all the rumors and reports indicating the New York Yankees were involved in the Freddie Freeman sweepstakes, they ended up going with a familiar face, disappointing the fans once again.
Freeman has his eyes set on a West Coast team, despite the emergence of the Boston Red Sox as a potential landing spot for the star first baseman. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards for the Yankees, who couldn’t afford to wait any longer as their backup plan was quickly slipping away.
The Yankees even went as far as to offer Freeman a contract, but he turned it down due to a lack of interest. In the meantime, the Yankees re-signed Anthony Rizzo on a two-year, $32 million deal.
Rizzo played well last season wearing pinstripes, posting a .249 average with eight homers and 21 RBIs. While he doesn’t match Freeman’s .300 average and 31 homers, he is still a competent player that can hold down first base for the next few seasons.
With the Chicago Cubs showing their interest in a potential reunion with Rizzo, the Yankees didn’t have much time to make a decision, and at this point, they’ve missed out on nearly every big prospect this off-season, a disappointing reality for a team that has been more aggressive in the past.
Acquiring Freeman was their last opportunity to land one of the big fish on the market, and while Rizzo offers sufficient play at 32 years old, the Yankees as we know them are dead.
Once a team aggressive in their pursuit and willing to spend big money on talent has now found themselves shopping in the clearance section, trying to solve significant issues holding them back from postseason play.
Rizzo’s contract is far more team family, averaging $16 million per season compared to the likely $25+ million Freeman wants in free agency. There’s still time left for the Yankees to make moves, but the free-agent market is thin, and they could use another starting pitcher to go with Gerrit Cole at the top of the rotation. Brian Cashman has signed up to pay Rizzo and Josh Donaldson a combined $41 million — an absurd amount.