New York Yankees: The inevitability of Anthony Rizzo

Sep 14, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) in action against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) in action against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New York Yankees have been thoroughly underwhelming this offseason. Once a team known for pushing the upper boundaries of payroll, they have become suddenly frugal of late. It made sense last offseason as they were able to reset their luxury tax penalty, but the same lack of activity had continued prior to the lockout.

It is easy to think that the Yankees are playing the long game. After all, Carlos Correa and Freddie Freeman are both available and would fill major gaps in the lineup. But the Yankees have said they are not likely to spend at the top of the shortstop market, seemingly taking them out of the running for Correa. That lack of interest in spending likely extends to first base as well, making Anthony Rizzo the likely target.

Anthony Rizzo’s inevitable return to New York Yankees

Rizzo has already spent time with the Yankees, having been acquired when the franchise got tired of waiting for Luke Voit to be healthy. However, he did not exactly cover himself with glory during his three months in pinstripes, posting a .249/.340/.428 batting line with eight homers and seven doubles in 200 plate appearances.

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As it is, the idea that Rizzo would return to the Yankees should not be surprising. Rizzo himself all but said that he would be coming back. The only way that would not happen is if the Yankees decide to open the vaults and sign Freeman or actually give up one of their shortstop prospects to bring in Matt Olson.

Such moves would require the Yankees to change the patterns they have displayed over the past two offseasons. The roster is littered with holes, with major gaps in the lineup and bullpen. As much as they may not want to, they are going to have to spend to fix some of those issues.

That could mean going after better options at first base. Freeman and Olson would certainly be upgrades. In fact, a healthy Voit would be an upgrade over Rizzo based on last year. But the former Cubs’ first baseman has a solid track record and one thing that the other two options do not have – he would be cost effective.

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The New York Yankees need to upgrade their roster. With first base being an issue, the return of Anthony Rizzo feels inevitable.