NEW YORK (AP) — Anthony Rizzo is staying with the New York Yankees, agreeing Tuesday night to a $32 million, two-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to a successful physical.
A three-time All-Star first baseman, Rizzo was acquired by the Yankees from the Chicago Cubs on July 29 and added a left-handed bat to a heavily right-handed batting order in New York. He hit .248 with 22 homers, 61 RBIs and a .783 OPS last season, including .249 with eight homers, 21 RBIs and a .768 OPS in 49 games for New York.
Rizzo also provided plate discipline and smooth fielding at first, where he has won a pair of Gold Gloves.
The deal makes it less likely the Yankees will sign former Atlanta All-Star Freddie Freeman. It also creates uncertainty for returning first baseman Luke Voit, the 2020 AL home run champion whose 2021 season was wrecked by injury.
“They want to be left-handed, so I get it,” Voit said Wednesday. “My job is to go out and play baseball everyday and not to figure who is playing what position. I’m just going to control what I can control, be positive, go out and work, be there for the guys and just get ready for the season.”
Rizzo said in June that he had not received a coronavirus vaccine, adding “as we continue to get more data, I’ll continue to be more educated on it.”
Unless New York City changes its requirement, he will need to be vaccinated in order to play at Yankee Stadium. New York City currently mandates that every private sector employee be inoculated against the coronavirus.
Earlier Tuesday, Yankees star Aaron Judge refused to directly answer a question about his vaccination status. Unvaccinated players will also not be allowed to play in Toronto against the division-rival Blue Jays due to Canadian entry laws.
Both Rizzo and outfielder Joey Gallo, a strikeout-prone left-handed hitter, were New York’s primary acquisitions at last summer’s trade deadline. Before the deals, DJ LeMahieu had been getting significant playing time at first.
Rizzo began his career with San Diego in 2011, then went to the Cubs in 2012. He is a career .268 hitter with 251 home runs and 814 RBIs.
New York general manager Brian Cashman has been busy since the end of the lockout. The Yankees acquired former AL MVP Josh Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and backup catcher Ben Rortvedt from the Minnesota Twins on Suday for catcher Gary Sánchez and third baseman Gio Urshela.
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