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Re-signing Anthony Rizzo helps the Yankees roster in several ways

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Announced yesterday that New York Yankees They were able to sign Anthony Rizzo to a two-year contract worth $40 million guaranteed with a $6 million buy-out over a $17 million club option. General Manager Brian Cashman locks someone important to the lineup as a huge Rizzo for the team’s next two seasons.

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The Yankees without Rizzo were in a tough spot, especially considering the… Houston Astros They were reportedly looking to add his services to World Championshipwinning lineup. A more influential left-handed bat and player who can make up for a lot of bad throws by other players will be hard to replace. There is no player like Rizzo in the first free agent class of the year, and although there is a player like DJ LeMahieu in the Yankees, who can play the first base position, he will present more risks. Having Rizzo in the fold gives the Yankees tremendous flexibility in how they fill out the rest of the roster.

The Yankees don’t have to worry about moving LeMahieu to the cold corner. Now that they’ve re-signed one of the key parts of the roster with the potential to go far in the playoffs, they can focus on other things; Namely, the re-signing of Aaron Judge, who was officially a free agent at this point. As much as I’m sure a lot of fans would like to re-sign Judge early, it might be best for the Yankees to lock Rizzo so they can reassure the big right fielder during negotiations that one of his close friends and a talented player was coming back for a shot. Another World Championship berth. More importantly, the Yankees are moving quickly to bring Rizzo back and hopefully send a signal to Judge that they are serious about improving the entire roster, beyond just re-signing Judge himself.

Not only does Rizzo provide inherent value to the Yankees lineup, but not leaving and signing with the Astros is a huge boost for obvious reasons. It would have been a hard pill to swallow if he had gone to a different team in the first place. But if he left for one of the Yankees’ biggest rivals and the team that swept them in the American League Championship on their way to the championship? That would be salt in the already widening wound.

So, re-signing Rizzo not only allows the Yankees more roster flexibility and gives them a solid left-handed bat, but he won’t play them in any postseason scenarios. Considering how he has fared this year in the playoffs (.276/.432/.552 clipped with a WRC+ of 185), I don’t think the Yankees would want to contend with that if they had a choice.

Overall, this is a solid move for the Yankees, and a solid opening shot to the offseason. There’s still a lot to do, but locking down their first base position allows for a lot of flexibility, keeps a talented left-handed powerhouse bat high in the rank, and gives the free agent greater priority and a stronger base of talent to sign on to.

In the relatively short period that Rizzo has been a Yankee, he has made an impact on fans and his teammates. He’s a lively veteran voice on a club looking to fight for a championship His numbers last season were among the best of his career and hopefully he continues to shine under the bright lights of Yankee Stadium.

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