By Paul Semendinger
November 15, 2022
And it begins with a BANG!
This was a VERY NECESSARY first step.
I am thrilled with this news. If it wasn't Anthony Rizzo, the first base options were very thin. I think the deal is a fair one for both sides. I like that the deal can also be for just two years as Rizzo ages, but, for 2023, Rizzo is part of the answer:
Anthony Rizzo is also a great clubhouse presence- a leader (and a winner with the Cubs).
He is not a strikeout-or-nothing batter. And he should benefit (greatly) from the elimination of the shift.
The Yankees need lefty power - Rizzo provides it.
He's also an excellent defender.
Finally, the Yankees are making moves, and not waiting on Judge. That's also very important. There was concern that was reported in the New York sports media that the Yankees would first wait for Judge's decision before making other moves. If wrote that if that was the case, it was a bad strategy. The Yankees aren't waiting. That is huge.
Finally, as Jeff Passan notes, Anthony Rizzo and Aaron Judge are close. Rizzo was actually at the NYC Marathon cheering on Aaron Judge's wife. I brought this up on the SSTN Podcast last night... the question of Rizzo's decision (if he left) impacting Judge. I think it could have. But, that matters not at all now.
I'm not certain this will impact Judge's decision very much, BUT, it can't hurt. Aron Judge can see, too, that the Yankees are moving forward in a positive direction.
Stay tuned here for updates...