MIAMI — Anthony Rizzo thought he was going to be with the Chicago Cubs for the rest of his career.
He spent the last decade in Chicago, winning a ring and blossoming into one of the best first basemen in all of baseball while wearing a Cubs uniform.
Now that he's playing in another organization, however, Rizzo is beginning to rethink what lays ahead. After being traded from one historic franchise to another, taking the field with the Yankees for the first time this weekend, this slugger isn't opposed to a future that features an extended period of time in the Bronx.
Asked on Friday if he'd consider signing with the Yankees after this season, when he's set to enter free agency, Rizzo nodded.
"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "I've heard nothing but amazing things about this franchise and how its operating from the inside and out."
Rizzo hasn't even donned pinstripes yet. He won't take the field at Yankee Stadium or experience New York's fan base until Monday. And yet, the three-time All-Star is already open to the possibility of sticking around with the Bombers.
Simply put, that's a testament to the reputation that this organization has across Major League Baseball.
"I know the history here and it speaks for itself," Rizzo said. "I'm excited to dive in and learn and see everything that the Yankees franchise has to offer."
At the end of this season, Rizzo will wrap up his seven-year, $41 million deal that he signed long ago with the Cubs. About the prospect of keeping Rizzo in a Yankees uniform for 2022 and beyond, general manager Brian Cashman didn't rule it out, but focused on the reason why he sent two prospects to the Cubs to acquire Rizzo at the Trade Deadline.
"We added Rizzo for this stretch drive. This is all about the 2021 effort. We haven't really daydreamed into the future at all," Cashman said. "Our intent was to try to increase our chances, give our team an improved opportunity to compete the rest of the way and that's really been the focus."
If Rizzo continues to produce the way he has over his first two games in a Yankees uniform, it'll be tough for Cashman not to at least try to find a way to factor the left-handed slugger into this franchise's long-term plans.
Rizzo is hitting .800 (4-for-5) with two home runs, five runs scored, three walks and an otherworldly 2.889 OPS across his first two ballgames with the Bombers. Yes, that's a very small sample size, but it's not hard to see how perfectly Rizzo is fitting in with this club both on and off the field thus far.
Of course there's the discussion of New York's other first baseman Luke Voit, who is still working back from his third stint on the injured list this season. Cashman recognized that Voit is under team control for the next few years, a prodigious home run hitter that led the league in big flies a year ago.
But imagine Rizzo's presence in the middle of this high-octane lineup for years to come. The first baseman has plenty of good years left in the tank—he's only 31 years old—and has already won over this fan base with his torrent start to his Yankees career.
As was the case with Cashman, Rizzo is focused on the now. With a chance to win a championship this season, one of the newest members of New York's clubhouse is trying his best to take things one day at a time.
"As far as contracts and whatnot, this is just about winning baseball games and getting onto a roll with our guys here and jelling and having fun and bringing out the best energy in everyone," Rizzo said. "We get to the postseason, anything could happen. It's just kind of a one day at a time mentality right now."
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