MLB Free Agency Rumors: This AL Team Prioritizing Anthony Rizzo

Rizzo is coming off a solid season with the Yankees


Nov 15, 2022

After sweeping the Yankees in the 2022 American League Championship Series, the Astros might swipe one of New York’s better players.

Houston has identified Anthony Rizzo as its “No. 1 free-agent target at first base,” per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The reigning World Series champions recently watched their top two first base options — Yuli Gurriel and Trey Mancini — enter Major League Baseball free agency, but the Astros reportedly are considering retaining the former.

As Rosenthal pointed out in a column published Monday, Rizzo “would serve the dual purpose” of improving their lineup while also stripping one of their biggest AL rivals of some high-end talent.

“Rizzo, 33, faces an interesting decision on whether to return to the Yankees,” Rosenthal wrote. “If he accepts the team’s qualifying offer, he would earn a higher one-year salary than he might receive in a multi-year deal. He then could spend another season hitting at Yankee Stadium, while also benefitting from the new shift restrictions, and re-enter the market without a qualifying offer. A player cannot receive one twice.”

The three-time All-Star was solid in his first full campaign with the Yankees, matching his season high in home runs (32) while knocking in 75 runs. Rizzo could excel in a hitter-friendly stadium like Minute Maid Park, but as Rosenthal notes, the veteran first baseman might be able to maximize his offensive production in the Bronx.

If Rizzo stays in pinstripes, the Astros could shift their focus to another one of the franchise’s reported targets, José Abreu. But there appears to be plenty of competition in the effort to land the 2020 AL MVP, including reported interest from the Boston Red Sox.

Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images
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