Surprisingly, the Yankees acquired three-time all-star Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs this afternoon, both teams announced. The move ends Rizzo’s nine-year tenure on the North Side. In return, Chicago will take on two perspectives: Outfielder Kevin Alcantara and right-handed Alexander Vizcaino.
It’s the second major deadline acquisition for the Yankees, who just closed a deal yesterday for another corner bat in Joey Gallo. The front office continues to intensify the offensive and adds another above-average hitter to a line-up that fell short of expectations over the course of the year. It doesn’t hurt that Rizzo – like Gallo – strikes from the left and thus balances an order that was extremely right-handed two days ago.
Rizzo is no longer the player he was at his peak, but there is no doubt that he will give the Yankees order a boost. The 31-year-old achieved 0.248 / 0.346 / 0.446 (115 wRC +) with 14 home runs on 376 record appearances. He’s been an above-average racket every season of his career save for a brief run as a rookie at the 2012 Padres. Rizzo doesn’t strike often, hitting only 15.7% of his record appearances this season while he above average 81.8% of his Makes contact. Both numbers are in line with his career grades.
These bat-to-ball skills should appeal to fans concerned about the Yankees’ gossamer offensive. New York has a team strikeout rate of 24.5% (excluding the pitcher), the sixth highest mark in the MLB. The Gallo takeover only helps reinforce this tendency (though the bat more than makes up for the puffs with tremendous force and walk-hums). Rizzo is much more likely to get the ball into play, albeit without as much impact as some of the other Yankees’ other midfielders. He still makes a lot of tough contact but that hasn’t resulted in a big extra base performance this year. Rizzo’s .198 ISO (slugging minus batting average) and barrel rate are both above average, but no longer elite.
Of course, the reigning first baseman of the Yankees is one of the right-handers who make up a good part of the roster. Lukas Voit led MLB with 22 home runs in 2020 and is reportedly on the verge of a return from the 10-day injury list. His name came up however this morning in surprising trading rumors and it now seems pretty likely that it will be in motion before tomorrow afternoon’s deadline. With Rizzo as First Base and Giancarlo Stanton as Designated Hitter, there doesn’t seem to be much room for Voit.
New York might see a Voit transaction as a way to free up some payroll space. The 30-year-old made $ 4.7 million (with a matching luxury tax number) in his first year of arbitration this year. For the remainder of the season, he is still entitled to around $ 1.6 million of that money. Voit can be controlled by arbitration for three additional campaigns.
Obviously, New York is working extremely hard to stay below the luxury tax threshold of $ 210 million. The Yankees’ CBT count is just under $ 206 million Estimation of the roster resources Jason Martinez. New York has persuaded the Rangers and Cubs to take on Gallo and Rizzo’s entire salaries as part of their ongoing efforts not to make additional commitments.
To do this, of course, you have to part with more talented perspectives. The Cubs seem to have done well adding Alcantara and Vizcaino, both of whom were among the top 15 minor league talents in the organization in Baseball America’s midseason update. Eric Longenhagen from FanGraphs has also ranked the duo highly, ranking Alcantara as the sport’s number 120 this year.
Alcantara, 19, is being praised for its projectable frame and its chance to grow into a great force. He’s now a midfielder who may be outgrowing the position, but he is a promising addition to the lower levels of the Cubs’ farming system. Alcantara plays rookie-level in the Arizona Complex League, so he’s years away from the majors – much like the group of players Chicago played at Yu Darvish last winter. picked up by the padres Act.
Vizcaino is a shorter term supplement. He reached the top at High-A, but the change-up specialist is already 24 and was selected to the 40-man squad last off-season. He still has a few minor league option years after this season. Longenhagen suggests his delivery likely hinted at a bullpen future, but he was a starter pitcher up to this point in his career. Vizcaino hasn’t played much this season due to injury, but he threw 115 innings with 4.38 ERA balls on two levels of the A-ball in 2019.
Alcantara and Vizcaino make for a solid return on paper as Rizzo will move into free agency at the end of the season. However, there is no question that his departure will be a bitter pill for many Cubs fans. Rizzo was one of the faces of the Cubs’ most successful runs in decades and a popular figure on the 2016 World Series team. For many on the North Side, it will hurt to see him go – regardless of the players the team gets in return Has.
It’s probably just the beginning for Chicago, which the next day will be marketing Kris Bryant, Craig Kimbrel, and maybe Javier Báez. Like Rizzo, Bryant and Báez will hit the free agency by the end of the season, and the Cubs are obvious deadline sellers. Chicago reportedly made some effort to get Báez to renew, but that went for Rizzo as well and ultimately didn’t materialize. The Rizzo trade is the biggest move yet, which should see a number of transactions for the Cubs in the coming hours.
Jack Curry from YES Network was the first to report that the sides were nearing an agreement on a Rizzo deal, as well as the identity of the interested parties involved and the assumption of the salary by the Cubs. Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the deal was closed.