Olney: New York Rival Eyes Major Anthony Rizzo Move [LISTEN]
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and a major New York Yankees' rival is planning theirs.
That team is the Boston Red Sox, who, as ESPN's Buster Olney told us, are emerging as a front-runner for Chicago Cubs first baseman, Anthony Rizzo. The two sides have always shared a bond, as the Red Sox drafted Rizzo in the 6th round in 2007, and traded him to the San Diego Padres three years later for Adrian Gonzalez. Rizzo is a career .270 hitting having a down year, on a Cubs team that is underperforming and looking to move some of their best players.
For the right price, this move could add another major wrinkle in the New York Yankees' ascent up the American League East standings.
According to Fangraphs, the Red Sox have the second-lowest batting average at their first base position, and the highest strikeout rate, by far. Between Bobby Dalbec, Michael Chavis and Marwin Gonzalez, that position has been a black hole for a large portion of the season. Rizzo would be a dynamic presence in the lineup on defense, and a welcome left-handed bat on offense. The Red Sox have a number of fantastic right-handed bats in their order, including Xander Bogaerts, JD Martinez and Hunter Renfroe, and Rizzo would help to supplement Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo on the left side.
Now, to the package. It wouldn't surprise me if the Red Sox surrender a similar package to that of the Yankees' package for Joey Gallo. The Chicago Cubs are looking to shed salary, and enter a form of re-building or re-tooling. The best way for them to do this is acquire young talent with plenty of years before they reach free agency. So, a package for Rizzo could very well include three or four mid-level prospects going back the other way.
For the Red Sox, it's a win. For the Yankees and Rays, it essentially neutralizes your moves for Joey Gallo and Nelson Cruz, respectively. Be advised, AL East baseball fans, because a "checkmate" could be on the way to Boston.