It’s been assumed for weeks now that Anthony Rizzo would opt out of the second year of his Yankees deal and that became official Monday evening. Rizzo had a $16 million guarantee for 2023 but he is seeking a longer deal and reportedly prefers to remain with the Yankees. Even if he’s seeking greener pastures, a reunion with the Cubs seems unlikely if only due to pride and an unmended fence or two.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 8, 2022
Money talks, though, and there are rarely issues that can’t be glossed over by a few zeroes. To that end, it’s at least mildly interesting and perhaps not entirely coincidental that Jim Bowden predicted Rizzo to get $54 million over three years with the Yankees. Combined with his ’22 salary, that would give the first baseman the same $70 million the Cubs reportedly offered him in an extension, only over one less year.
I could be very wrong in how I’m viewing the situation, but I think the Cubs would have to outdo that prediction in order to bring Rizzo back. Jed Hoyer was handed the reins a year early for the express purpose of making the difficult decisions Theo Epstein couldn’t, so it’s hard to fathom them paying a premium and pushing to three years or more for a reunion with Rizzo predicated largely on warm fuzzies.
Or maybe they’ll schedule a press conference for November 11 — see here for more important offseason dates — to bring the prodigal son home as a mentor to Matt Mervis. I’d lay my bets elsewhere, but feel free to keep the fires of hope burning in your own heart if it helps.
Update: The Yankees are expected to extend a qualifying offer to Rizzo, effectively eliminating whatever slim chance there was of a Cubs reunion. It’ll also hamper his value to other interested teams, making it even more likely that he works out a new deal to remain in New York.