Anthony Rizzo hopes Aaron Judge will be Yankees teammate again

Anthony Rizzo hopes Aaron Judge will be Yankees teammate again

Anthony Rizzo agreed to re-sign with the Yankees on Tuesday earlier than realizing if his good pal Aaron Choose would do the identical.

Rizzo wished to be again in The Bronx “as a result of I like being a Yankee,” he mentioned — and the $40 million assured over two years didn’t damage — however he now has an much more vested curiosity in how Choose’s free company performs out this offseason.

“I hope Choose stays, only for the sake of the sport, since you see a whole lot of franchise icons not getting what they deserve [from] the workforce that they’ve executed a lot for,” Rizzo mentioned Wednesday on a Zoom name.

Rizzo has some expertise in that division. His scenario was totally different than Choose’s, however the first baseman was a franchise staple in Chicago, the place he helped the Cubs break their 108-year World Collection championship drought in 2016. Then, getting into his stroll 12 months in 2021, he reportedly turned down a five-year, $70 million extension provide, which led to the Cubs buying and selling him to the Yankees that summer time.

Since then, Rizzo signed a two-year, $32 million contract with the Yankees in March earlier than opting out to get a elevate on Tuesday, when he inked a two-year, $34 million cope with a $17 million membership possibility within the third 12 months that features a $6 million buyout.

Aaron Choose and Anthony RizzoN.Y. Publish: Charles Wenzelberg

Cash apart, Rizzo mentioned a number of instances Wednesday that he solely needs the most effective for Choose and his household.

“Clearly I need to be his teammate,” Rizzo mentioned. “We’ve develop into good pals on the sphere and off the sphere. We’ve actually loved taking part in with one another. However on the finish of all of this, a friendship right here or a friendship some other place, it’s nonetheless a friendship. It doesn’t imply it’s a must to be on the identical workforce to be pals. So wherever he’s at, I attempt to respect his privateness and his area after which let him provide you with the choice on his personal.”

As for Rizzo’s choice, the 33-year-old mentioned he was shocked by how shortly a deal got here collectively. Since he opted out of his contract final week, he had acquired sufficient curiosity from groups that even when he didn’t get a deal executed with the Yankees, he nonetheless felt assured in turning down the qualifying provide, believing he would have the ability to get an analogous deal elsewhere.

The Astros have been one of many groups reportedly desirous about Rizzo’s left-handed bat — he mentioned Wednesday he gave consideration to each workforce that confirmed curiosity, declining to get into element — however as a substitute the Yankees made certain he didn’t get away.

“The primary purpose I wished to return again is as a result of I like being a Yankee,” Rizzo mentioned. “I’ve been very lucky to spend so much of time in Chicago with the Cubs, an iconic franchise there. Now to be a part of this iconic franchise is wonderful. To have the ability to be part of it for no less than two extra years is an incredible feeling. To be within the large market, to be below the brilliant lights, to have that 24/7 scrutiny is without doubt one of the many issues I like about this sport.”

Rizzo hit 32 residence runs with a .817 OPS in 130 video games this 12 months for the Yankees — after which was one in every of their finest hitters within the playoffs — although he missed a while with again points. However he mentioned Wednesday he’s feeling good and is aware of how he must care for his again in order that it doesn’t develop into a problem shifting ahead.

“In the direction of the top of the 12 months, it was form of resolving by itself,” Rizzo mentioned. “Actually, I really feel like bodily coming into this offseason I put myself in the most effective place body-wise to actually enhance myself. That’s what I plan on doing.”

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