New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo rejected one offer from the team and accepted a different one on the same day. Moments after rejecting a qualifying offer from the team, Rizzo re-signed with the Yankees on a two-year, $40 million deal, according to multiple reports.
Rizzo will make $17 million in both 2023 and 2024. The deal also contains a $17 million club option for 2025. If the Yankees don't pick up that option, they can buy Rizzo out for $6 million, bringing the total guaranteed money to at least $40 million.
The Rizzo deal is for 2 years, $34M with a club option for $17M for a third year. The buyout in the third year is for $6M.
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) November 15, 2022
Rizzo spent the last season and a half with the Yankees. In 2022, he hit .224/.338/.480, with 32 home runs in 130 games. His 32 home runs matched a career high.
The move ensures Rizzo, 33, will spend at least two more seasons in New York. Rizzo took to Yankee Stadium well, tailoring his swing to take advantage of the short porch in right field. His approach helped him post a 132 wRC+, his best showing in the stat since 2019.
Though no longer in his peak, Rizzo continues to turn in solid seasons at the plate. He no longer hits for high averages, but walks and gets hit by enough pitches to post strong on-base percentages. He saw his strike out rate jump last season, but he strikes out less than most sluggers.
The Yankees are betting Rizzo can keep up that pace for the next two seasons. If Rizzo continues to produce at a similar rate over the next two seasons, the team can bring him back in 2025. If Rizzo experiences further decline, the Yankees can cut bait after the 2024 season. It's not a bad gamble to make considering Rizzo's current ability.
Anthony Rizzo among players declining qualifying offers
Prior to signing a multi-year deal, Rizzo was among many players who declined qualifying offers Tuesday. Of the 14 players to receive qualifying offers, only two, Joc Pederson and Martin Perez, accepted.
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) November 15, 2022
Teams can extend qualifying offers to noteworthy free agents. If a player accepts a qualifying offer, he returns to his previous team on a one-year deal at a high salary. If a player rejects a qualifying offer, he hits the free-agent market. If that player signs with a different team in free agency, the player's previous team receives draft-pick compensation for losing the player.
If a player expects to receive a big, multi-year deal on the market, he will almost always reject the qualifying offer, knowing he can make more money on the market. That will be the case with Jacob deGrom, Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turner and Aaron Judge, all of whom rejected qualifying offers Tuesday.
Like Rizzo, however, those players can still return to their previous teams in free agency, it will just take a lot more money to bring them back.