Anthony Rizzo Yankees
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are re-signing first baseman Anthony Rizzo to a multi-year deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Jack Curry of the YES Network added the deal was for two years and $34 million, plus a $17 million option.

The timing of the contract is certainly interesting. On Monday night, Rosenthal had reported the Houston Astros–the Yankees’ greatest rival–were interested in Rizzo. That clearly motivated New York to get a deal done, and rightfully so.

Anthony Rizzo proved to be one of the most valuable Yankees in 2022 for both baseball and leadership reasons. On the field, he was a plus fielder whose lefty swing fit Yankee Stadium perfectly. He hit .224, but tied a career high with 32 home runs and drove in 75 runs. A nagging back problem also limited Rizzo to 130 games.

But as we’ve discussed, Rizzo’s real value to the Yankees is as a teammate. He’s a clubhouse leader and unafraid to do a quick mound visit to calm down a pitcher when the pressure is on. More importantly, he forged a close friendship with Aaron Judge. Could Anthony Rizzo returning to the Yankees be the first step to a new Judge contract? We’ll soon find out.

But in the meantime, the Yankees have first base taken care of for at least the next two years. Rizzo is 33 and not exactly young anymore, but still a consistent producer. The Yankees have no major first base prospects coming up through the minors. Thus, we should assume re-signing Anthony Rizzo was always high on Brian Cashman’s offseason priority list.

The money isn’t bad either, just a $1 million raise from last year. Regardless, Rizzo deserves it.

Now, speaking of reserves, let’s up re-upping Anthony Rizzo motivates his friend Aaron Judge to stay in the Bronx too.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.