Anthony Rizzo and Yankees end $32 million, 2-year deal

Anthony Rizzo and the New York Yankees signed a two-year, $32 million contract Thursday.

The first baseman receives $16 million in each of the next two seasons. He has the right to opt out after this year’s World Series to return to free agency.

A three-time All-Star, 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. He hit .248 with 22 home runs, 61 RBIs and a .783 OPS last season, including .249 with eight home runs, 21 RBIs and a .768 OPS in 49 games for New York.

Rizzo also provided plate discipline and smooth fielding early on, where he won a pair of Gold Gloves.

The deal creates uncertainty for first baseman Luke Voit, the 2020 American League home run champion whose 2021 season was blighted by injury.

“They want to be left-handed, so I get it,” Voit said Wednesday. “My job is to go out there and play baseball every day and not think about who is playing what position. I’m just going to control what I can control, be positive, go out there and work, be there for the guys and get ready for the season.”

Rizzo said in June that he had not received a coronavirus vaccine, adding that “as we continue to get more data, I will continue to receive more information about it.”

Unless New York City changes its requirement, you will need to get vaccinated in order to play at Yankee Stadium. New York City currently requires all private sector employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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Rizzo and outfielder Joey Gallo, a strikeout-prone left-handed hitter, were New York’s top acquisitions at last summer’s trade deadline. Before the deals, DJ LeMahieu had had significant playing time early on.

Rizzo started his career with San Diego in 2011, then left for 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 Sunday for catcher Gary Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela.

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