Wednesday, November 16, 2022


Source: Sports Illustrated

Well, obviously having our very own Cousin Tony back in the lineup is key for the Yankees as they remaster their roster to a battle for the championship in 2023. Besides having a consistent lefty bat in the lineup, Anthony Rizzo brings experience, presence and tremendous defense to clubhouse. And all of these traits are incredibly important to the Yankees. But Rizzo's signing is even more meaningful besides the obvious benefits. Let's unpack.

According to MLB Rumors, "By getting Rizzo to put pen to paper, the Yanks have prevented a key bat from departing in free agency. Of course, Rizzo is only the second most important player in this camp, as all eyes are squarely focused on Aaron Judge and whether the Yanks can convince him to stay." Rizzo and Judge built a relationship this season, with the two appearing to be connected as brothers of the clubhouse, leading with their bat and their presence in the dugout. With Rizzo's contract squared and commitment locked up, perhaps Judge will be even more convinced to stay a Yankee knowing his compadre will be by his side.

"Rizzo quickly became a favored teammate for many current Yankees, including Aaron Judge who is also a free agent. At the recently completed GM meetings, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman indicated keeping Rizzo was a priority -- in addition to re-signing Judge," reported ESPN. Now with the first half completed, the Yankees can remain focused on ensuring their right fielder is in pinstripes for another eight years.

"I've absolutely conveyed that I want him to be a Yankee for the rest of his life," Hal Steinbrenner said at the MLB owners meetings in New York on Tuesday. "No doubt about that. He knows that." In addition, the Yankee owner stated that, "While Judge will likely receive one of the biggest free-agent contracts, Steinbrenner said it would not prevent the Yankees from spending more money in free agency."We have plenty of ability to make other things happen too," Steinbrenner said. This will likely include bonuses for meeting milestones and goals and even naming Judge captain. 

Rizzo's signing could be the final chip needed to ensure that Judge signs. Having a team he trusts around him is equally important to earning a living that will set up himself and his family for the rest of his life. Together, Rizzo and Judge have unfinished business in the Bronx—winning the World Series and bringing home the trophy to an organization that has experienced a 14-year drought will be a formidable goal for both players. And they are just the kind of guys you want on the front line of that battle. 

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Senior Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

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