Rizzo returns to the Yankees on a two-year deal

NEW YORK — The club announced that Anthony Rizzo will keep his Yankees streak for longer, agreeing on Tuesday to a two-year contract with a club option for the 2025 season. The deal is worth at least $40 million, sources tell MLB.com’s Mark Vinsand, but the team hasn’t. reveal conditions.

Rizzo’s new deal will pay $34 million over the next two seasons, with the club’s option of $17 million or $6 million for 2025, per the source.

Rizzo, who turned 33 in August, hit .224/.338/.480 in 130 games this season for the Yankees, his first complete campaign in New York after his acquisition from the Cubs before the 2021 trade deadline.

A natural fit for Yankee Stadium’s attractive right-field porch, Rizzo tied his career high with 32 home runs, driving in 75 while providing the lineup’s needed left-handed balance and a reliable glove at first base.

“It was everything we could have hoped,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said recently. “He’s been a great guy for our club, a great team-mate, a great captain and very productive on the field. I think [he’s] Cut a lot to play for the Yankees. He handles everything about playing here as one of the class players and leaders so well.”

Rizzo’s OPS+-adjusted out-of-the-park of 131 put him among the top 30 among eligible hitters in 2022 and made him the second most productive at bat in a Yankees offense that has struggled to find consistency behind Aaron Judge. Rizzo and Judge developed a close friendship during their time together.

The Astros also reportedly had an interest in Rizzo, a career .265 hit over 12 major league seasons winning the World Series with the Cubs in 2016. A three-time All-Star while in Chicago, he posted an above-average OPS+ ( 100+) in 11 consecutive seasons and topped the 20 mark in each of his past nine full seasons (apart from the shortened 2020 campaign).

Rizzo will enter 2023 with a career streak of .265/.366/.481, needing 17 more to hit the 300 mark. On the defensive side, Rizzo won four NL Gold Glove awards at first base from 2016-20, but scored -5 points Above average since joining the Yankees.

Speaking Tuesday at MLB owners’ meetings in New York, Yankees general partner Hal Steinbrenner noted that Judge’s free agency wouldn’t necessarily prevent the club from moving to a free agent like Rizzo.

“Am I going to make moves before we can, in my opinion, contract with Aaron?” Steinbrenner said. “Yeah, it wouldn’t stop me from signing other people. We have to move on. It’s all about who gets off the board. Some players are going to get off the board sooner than others and if there’s someone we feel we need, then I have to make the decision to keep improving.” club and not back down until we discover Aaron.”

While Rizzo is back in the fold as the starting first baseman, the rest of Yankees stadium could change before Opening Day. Josh Donaldson is expected to return as the third baseman, with Steinbrenner praising the veteran’s defense as well as a work ethic that he said is “second to none”.

Steinbrenner expressed concerns about DJ LeMahieu’s health after a right toe injury on his right foot sapped his productivity and availability for the second half of the season.

“It’s not an ordinary injury,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s not a normal thing we see in every team every year. I don’t know enough about that. We haven’t been told the surgery is out. The question is how long after the surgery? We’re not there.”

For young children – [Oswaldo] “It included Cabrera, which was a big surprise when it came in — we’re going with young kids,” Steinbrenner said. “Some of the veteran players, they’d like to see that, because I’ve talked to them.”

MLB.com’s Betelhem Ashame and Andrew Simon contributed to this story

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