The New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs have agreed on a trade that sends first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the Bronx, the teams announced. The Cubs will cover the $6 million or so remaining on Rizzo's contract, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, and will receive two prospects in return. Rizzo, 32 come August, is an impending free agent who has hit .248/.346/.446 (116 OPS+) this season with 14 home runs in 92 games.
Here's a breakdown of the deal:
- Yankees get: 1B Anthony Rizzo
- Cubs get: OF Kevin Alcántara and RHP Alexander Vizcaino.
It's the second major move in 24 hours for the Yankees, who added outfielder Joey Gallo and left-handed reliever Joely Rodríguez in a six-player trade with the Texas Rangers on Wednesday. The Rangers retained both of their full remaining salaries in exchange for four prospects.
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The Yankees have been attempting the fine dance of adding premium talent without exceeding the luxury-tax line of $210 million. According to Cot's Contracts, New York entered the day with around $2 million to spare under the threshold.
Rizzo gives the Yankees yet another left-handed middle-of-the-order bat. He figures to serve as the first baseman during Luke Voit's absence, and rumors have had the Yankees willing to part with Voit as a means of facilitating other trades. Rizzo's presence would seem to make that outcome far more likely.
"I think this is a great opportunity and I'm really fortunate to be going to the New York Yankees. It's the No. 1 sports franchise in the world," Rizzo told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "It's going to be a fun ride. I can't wait to get there and just try to settle in as fast as I can."
How does the move to the Bronx impact Rizzo's Fantasy value? Listen to Fantasy Baseball Today's emergency podcast below:
The Yankees could use the help. A blowout loss against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday dropped them to 53-48 on the season. They already trailed the second wild card spot by 2 1/2 games entering the day, and they ranked in the bottom-third of all of Major League Baseball in runs scored. That is, to state the obvious, not what the Yankees expected from a lineup that features numerous All-Star talents. According to Sportsline's projections, the Rizzo addition slightly boosts the Yankees' playoff chances, from 30.2 percent to 32.3 percent.
Rizzo enjoyed a storied career with the Cubs, making three All-Star Games while winning four Gold Glove Awards and a Silver Slugger. In parts of 10 seasons in Chicago, he recorded a .272/.372/.489 (130 OPS+) slash line with 242 home runs. He was also instrumental in the Cubs' drought-breaking 2016 World Series victory.
Alcántara, 19, has hit .360/.448/.520 in eight rookie ball games this season. He has a tall, angular frame (he's listed at 6-foot-6 and 188 pounds) that bodes well for him adding strength as he ages. That's notable since Alcántara's best tool at maturation figures to be his well-above-average pop. It's to be seen if he'll retain enough speed to stick in center. If not, the pressure will be on him making enough contact to allow his power to play up in-game.
Vizcaino, 24, has split his season between a complex league and High-A, amassing a 7.50 ERA and a 0.70 strikeout-to-walk ratio in six innings. He has a promising fastball-changeup combination, putting the onus on the development of a good breaking ball. If he can do that, he should be able to stick in a rotation for the long haul. Otherwise, he might end up in relief.