Anthony Rizzo Officially Opts Out of Yankees Deal
It’s been assumed for weeks now that Anthony Rizzo would opt out of the second year of his Yankees deal and that became official Monday evening. Rizzo had a $16 million guarantee for 2023 but he is seeking a longer deal and reportedly prefers to remain with the Yankees. Even if he’s seeking greener pastures, a reunion with the Cubs seems unlikely if only due to pride and an unmended fence or two.
News: Anthony Rizzo has opted out of his 2023 contract with the #Yankees and is now a free agent. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 8, 2022
Money talks, though, and there are rarely issues that can’t be glossed over by a few zeroes. To that end, it’s at least mildly interesting and perhaps not entirely coincidental that Jim Bowden predicted Rizzo to get $54 million over three years with the Yankees. Combined with his ’22 salary, that would give the first baseman the same $70 million the Cubs reportedly offered him in an extension, only over one less year.
I could be very wrong in how I’m viewing the situation, but I think the Cubs would have to outdo that prediction in order to bring Rizzo back. Jed Hoyer was handed the reins a year early for the express purpose of making the difficult decisions Theo Epstein couldn’t, so it’s hard to fathom them paying a premium and pushing to three years or more for a reunion with Rizzo predicated largely on warm fuzzies.
Or maybe they’ll schedule a press conference for November 11 — see here for more important offseason dates — to bring the prodigal son home as a mentor to Matt Mervis. I’d lay my bets elsewhere, but feel free to keep the fires of hope burning in your own heart if it helps.
Update: The Yankees are expected to extend a qualifying offer to Rizzo, effectively eliminating whatever slim chance there was of a Cubs reunion. It’ll also hamper his value to other interested teams, making it even more likely that he works out a new deal to remain in New York.