Yankees could go with a familiar face at first base, but it will cost them

anthony rizzo, yankees

When and if a new Collective Bargaining Agreement can be reached, the New York Yankees will have several issues to solve, and they may have less than two weeks to do it. There are three major issues that the Yankees have on their plate. A new shortstop, a permanent first baseman, and the possibility of needing another starting pitcher. Getting that shortstop seems to be the priority, but deciding on a first baseman for the new season is just as important.

When we speak about first base, the Yankees do have obvious options. They already have Luke Voit on the books, they could re-sign last year’s acquisition of Anthony Rizzo, who is a free agent. The other options are a trade with the Oakland Athletics for Matt Olson, and lastly, spending big for the Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman.

Although, still very unclear as to what the Yankees will do, here is how things are shaping up. Voit, although the cheapest way to go, and already held over for another season, was not productive at the first base position last season after being the home run leader in 2020. He could be satisfactory, but his inability to keep the lower part of his body (feet and knees) healthy could be a challenge for the Yankees, keeping him off the field and becoming useless. So let’s say he is not the most desirable to take on the job.

Herein comes the roadblocks. The Yankees hiring the Braves Freddie Freeman seems pretty unlikely. This is true mainly because he will demand a contract in the area of $180 million over the next six years. That is something the Yankees, although interested, might not be willing to pay. He has already refused the Braves’ offer and seems likely not to stray too far from those wants. N

No matter how attractive to the Yankees, being the best man for the job, the Yankees have to consider they may have to pay big for a shortstop and a pitcher, they also have slugger Aaron Judge, the face of the Yankees, waiting in the wings for a big contract extension. Add that to two huge contracts, Stanton and Cole, already on the books, the money doesn’t seem to be there to add Freddie Freeman.

The second roadblock would be the acquisition of Matt Olsen from the Athletics. Before the lockout, the two sides in that discussion could not form a deal. The A’s wanted Anthony Volpe in a trade package that also might include Oswald Peraza. The Yankees refused.

According to SNY’s Andy Martino, the Yankees were unwilling to send top shortstop prospects Anthony Volpe and/or Oswald Peraza to the A’s in exchange for Olson before the lockout. Several other analysts also echoed that suggestion. Unless the Yankees do a complete turnaround, that trade does not look likely, as the Yankees will be unwilling to strip their farm system for one player.

The answer that is becoming more clear by the day is that the Yankees will settle with re-signing Anthony Rizzo. There are several reasons that that choice makes sense. For one, although not the most important consideration, is that Rizzo likes New York and wants to remain with the team.

Last season he disappointed some, but still, in 49 games played after the trade deadline, he hit .249 with 8 home runs. Between the Yankees and the Cubs, the only other team he has ever played for, he hit a total of 21 home runs, nothing to make fun of. Also, the Yankees have to consider his excellent defense. His home run total and batting average was better than Voit and has a much better injury history than Voit. Considering all these facts, it seems the best overall option for the Yankees is to resign Anthony Rizzo.

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