Reasons behind Anthony Rizzo opting out of Yankees contract for 2023

Anthony Rizzo in pinstripes

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The Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo formally ended his final-year contract with the team on Monday. According to ESPN, the first baseman exercised the opt-out clause for 2023 in his contract and is free to look for a new deal.

The 33-year-old signed a two-year, $32 million deal with the Yankees in March 2022. Anthony Rizzo joined the team in 2021 after spending 9 seasons with the Chicago Cubs. The new contract had an opt-out option for Rizzo after the 2022 season.

There was speculation since the Yankees’ season ended following the ALCS loss that Anthony Rizzo was looking to end his contract. So it was expected that he would choose to leave.

Anthony Rizzo is a strong defender at first base and a great offensive player when he is healthy. Rizzo has been able to score a lot of runs, including 32 home runs in the 2022 season. In the MLB, players like that are hard to find. He was a key part of the Chicago Cubs team that won the World Series, and the Yankees hoped he could do the same for them.

The playmaker had 32 home runs and 75 RBIs last season. But the veteran hit only .224, and he was one of many Yankees who failed to score a better average in a season in which the team won the American League East and the ALDS before falling in the ALCS.

Rizzo wasn’t sure about a lot of things after the Yankees were eliminated, but he did say that decisions would be made over time.

“At this point, I’ll sit down my wife and I’ll sit down my agents and we’ll talk about all that,” he said. “I’ve told [the Yankees] since signing the deal, we’re not going to talk about it until after the season. Now in the next few weeks, it’s time to talk about it.”

Anthony Rizzo did well for New York in the playoffs, hitting 276 and having two homers and eight runs batted in. But in 29 at-bats, he struck out eight times. But his opt-out is a move that was expected as part of a deal that would guarantee him $16 million for the 2023 season. Now that the season is over, Rizzo is free to look for a new contract, which can give him a longer term with a team at the twilight stage of his career.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone is one of the people who would like the first baseman to come back to the team. This month, Boone was on ESPN Radio and talked about how great Rizzo is both on and off the field.

“He’s been everything we could have hoped for,” he told, “He’s been an amazing person in our clubhouse. An amazing teammate, an amazing leader, very productive on the field. I think very much cut out to play for our team, for the Yankees. I think he handles all that goes with playing here as one of the premium players and leaders so well. So yeah, I would love to have him back, of course.”

Thrice All-Star and with four Gold Gloves, Anthony Rizzo has a chance to get a long-term contract offer from the Yankees. Meanwhile, other teams may try to sign him. Rizzo’s exit could be a warning sign for New York fans, as he is close to Aaron Judge, who too is a free agent.

How do you see Anthony Rizzo’s opt-out? Leave your comment below.

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0 thoughts on “Reasons behind Anthony Rizzo opting out of Yankees contract for 2023

  1. Not rocket science – he is 33 years old, past his prime and looking for a longer term contract that would take him closer to the end of his career – probably hoping for 4 years and less per year, which won’t happen in New York or elsewhere, but would settle for three or possibly even two.

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