The New York Yankees have a few big decisions to make this off-season, one of which is at first base, where Anthony Rizzo will become a free agent. It’s entirely possible the Yankees retain Rizzo on an extension, but recent reports have also indicated that will pursue Freddie Freeman when the lockout ends.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Freeman is on their radar:
The Yankees are expected to take a run at Freddie Freeman, who they love. Though 1B isn’t their real need, they’d love to fit one of the game’s best lefty hitters into their lineup. With the Braves not quickly wrapping up their star, all are options are on the table for Freeman.
Freeman would offer another lefty slugger who could hit 40+ homers in Yankee Stadium, but he would be far more expensive compared to Rizzo, earning a deal worth six years, $160 million. Rizzo might cost the team $10 million less on average, but he’s still a quality lefty bat and has four Gold Gloves to his name.
Nonetheless, the Yankees will have competition for Rizzo, who could make his way back to Chicago.
Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago stated that the Cubs could look to bring back Anthony Rizzo in free agency, reuniting with one of their favorite players:
The Cubs have had internal conversations about offering 32-year-old first baseman Anthony Rizzo a new contract when free agency begins, sources said.
Rizzo finished the 2021 season with a collective .248 average, 22 homers, and 61 RBIs. His 15.1% strikeout rate was a welcomed statistic for a Yankee team that simply couldn’t get on base and put runners in scoring position. Over his career, Rizzo hosts a 10.1% walk rate, another solid number the Yankees would theoretically rely on to help their alternative sluggers bat runners in.
While Freeman might be the more luxurious option, Rizzo is nonetheless a steadfast first baseman who can be relied on day in and day out to perform at a quality level. Depending on how much general manager Brian Cashman wants to spend, that will determine who they ultimately go with.