TAMPA — A day after missing out on Matt Olson, and with Freddie Freeman seemingly a long shot, the Yankees agreed to a deal Tuesday night to bring back Anthony Rizzo to play first base pending a physical, a source confirmed.
The deal, first reported by ESPN, is for two years and $32 million and gives the Yankees another left-handed bat, and seemingly puts Luke Voit firmly on the trading block.
And it continued a flurry of activity by the Yankees front office after it didn’t do much prior to the Dec. 2 MLB lockout.
Earlier in the week, the Yankees pulled off a trade with the Twins to acquire third baseman Josh Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt, and send Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela to Minnesota.
With Rizzo at first, the Yankees figure to have Gleyber Torres at second, Donaldson at third and Kiner-Falefa at short, leaving DJ LeMahieu in a utility role.
Rizzo, 32, came to the Yankees prior to the trade deadline last year and got off to a red-hot start before he landed on the COVID IL.
He played last year without being vaccinated and if that’s still the case, Rizzo may have an issue playing games in The Bronx, since current New York City vaccination rules prohibit unvaccinated players from being in a workplace. It’s unknown what his current status is.
Rizzo finished with a .768 OPS in 200 plate appearances with the Yankees last season.
The Yankees are hoping a healthy Rizzo can return to the form he had with the Cubs from 2014-19, when he was among the best power hitters in the game.
And it continues an offseason in which the Yankees have so far avoided long-term contracts, even with premier free agents available, like Freeman and shortstop Carlos Correa.
General manager Brian Cashman has three more weeks to finalize a roster before Opening Day and the lineup will look significantly different than it did just a week ago.