New York Yankees Re-Sign Anthony Rizzo

by Jason Beckner
2021 Dynasty Baseball Player of the Week: Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees Re-Sign Anthony Rizzo. It seems that the baseball off-season has started quickly this year.  The New York Yankees wasted no time by re-signing their first baseman to a two-year deal with $40M guaranteed money. Which included $17M in 2023 and 2024 and a $17M club option for 2025.

Rizzo first declined his $16M player option and then also rejected the Yankees one year qualifying offer of $19.65M. However, he agreed to a longer commitment very quickly after the 3 pm qualifying offer deadline.

After spending ten seasons with the Chicago Cubs Rizzo was dealt to the Yankees in 2021 and has spent the past year and a half in the Bronx. Rizzo has dealt with his fair share of injuries in the past few seasons.  Rizzo only appeared in 130 games in 2022. The biggest concern is that the injury concerns are of Rizzo's back which seems to have many lingering effects.

My gut reaction is this is a good signing by the Yankees. I feel that it also will continue to give Rizzo solid Fantasy value going forward.

New York Yankees Re-Sign Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo with the New York Yankees

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Antony Rizzo has always been a top-tier first baseman in the fantasy baseball landscape. Dating back to his stretch with the cubs when he was bashing 30+HR in four consecutive seasons from 2014-2017. At the same time, his time in Chicago saw his statistical downfall from 2018-2021. Rizzo had a resurgence in 2022 with his first full season in the Bronx.

For starters, Rizzo saw his power resurface as he hit 30+HR for the first time since 2017.  Furthermore, his 131OPS+ was also his second-highest OPS+ since 2016. The main reason for Rizzo's power resurgence could be a direct correlation to playing in a left-handed batter-friendly park. Evidenced by his 19 HR in Yankee stadium versus the 13 HR on the road.

According to Statcast data Yankees stadium is the sixth friendliest for home runs to left-handed batters over the past three seasons which will again help with Rizzo's power and fantasy value.

The signing makes sense for the Yankees as well. With no apparent internal replacement at first base, and the other free-agent first basemen available were nothing to throw the brink truck at, it just made too much sense for the Yankees.

Final Thoughts on Anthony Rizzo

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The news of Rizzo staying with the Yankees is positive news for both Yankee fans and fantasy baseball fans. Rizzo gets to stay in one of the best left-handed friendly stadiums. While also hitting in the middle of one of the premier lineups in baseball.

Now a lot of Rizzo's upside could be diminished if the 2022 homerun leader and MVP hopeful, Aaron Judge, decides to leave town.  Rizzo did his best work batting in front of Stanton and behind Judge in 2022 and those numbers will likely continue if Judge decides to stay.

Let's also not forget that Rizzo was one of the most shifted against hitters in 2022, and the new "no-shift" rule that takes effect in 2023 could also have a positive value on Rizzo's fantasy outlook.

In conclusion, with or without Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo will remain a top-10 fantasy first baseman for both redraft and dynasty leagues alike.  I think Rizzo has a solid fantasy floor that we have known to love over the past decade and I would have no problem forecasting Rizzo to hit 25+HR and 75+RBI once again in 2023.

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