ST. PETERSBURG — Another day, another blockbuster.
The Yankees are reportedly finalizing a deal that would send first baseman Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs to the Bronx. The team confirmed the transaction with an official announcement late Thursday night.
This comes after New York shipped four prospects to the Texas Rangers, reeling in outfielder Joey Gallo and left-hander Joely Rodriguez.
BACCELLIERI: Yankees Boost Lackluster Offense With Rizzo Trade
For Rizzo, New York is sending right-hander Alexander Vizcaino and outfielder Kevin Alcantara to Chicago. Listed as the Yankees' ninth- and 12th-ranked prospects respectively, per MLB Pipeline, New York is certainly paying the price for a high-profile addition. That said, similar to the Gallo deal with Texas, the Cubs are reportedly picking up the rest of Rizzo's contract, helping the Bombers remain under the luxury tax threshold.
Through all the inconsistencies this season for New York, a lack of production from left-handed hitters has been an ever-constant contributor to their offensive struggles. General manager Brian Cashman and the Yankees made a concerted effort to address that weakness prior to Friday's Trade Deadline, bolstering the middle of their order with two of the most coveted sluggers on the market.
Rizzo, 31, is a three-time All-Star, hitting .269 with an .853 OPS over his 11-year career. He's walloped 25-plus homers in each of his last six full seasons (excluding last year's pandemic-shortened campaign). Entering play Thursday, Rizzo has a slash line of .248/.346/.446 with 14 homers, 41 runs scored and 40 RBI over 92 games this season.
Not only is Rizzo—like Gallo—a threat to devour the short porch in the Bronx with his smooth stroke from the left side, the first baseman is a wizard on defense, winning a Gold Glove in four of the last five years. He'll slot in at first base, allowing DJ LeMahieu to move back to second full-time (rather than filling in at first for Luke Voit, who is in his third stint of the year on the injured list).
New York still has quite a bit of ground to make up in the standings—certainly if they want to contend for a division title—but a spot in the American League Wild Card game is well within reach.
More moves could be on the way ahead of Friday's Deadline as well.
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