In a surprise move, the New York Yankees have acquired 1B Anthony Rizzo and cash from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for OF Kevin Alcantara and RHP Alexander Vizcaino.
I’m not sure if many people saw this one coming. The Yankees’ rival, the Red Sox, reportedly had a ton of interest in Rizzo, who they drafted in 2007. He was a perennial all-star in Chicago and is arguably the league’s best defensive first baseman. He has a high 91.1 mph average exit velocity while he walks a ton and does not strikeout often. Rizzo is a pure rental, meaning that the Yankees are going for it this year despite being out of a playoff spot at the moment. This is a huge get for the team and they will not have to pay Rizzo, just like recent acquisition Joey Gallo. The Cubs and Rangers both took all the salary for their former slugger. For the advanced stats nerds, Rizzo has seven outs above average with a .343 wOBA this year. Statcast estimates that if he played every single game this year at Yankee Stadium and the short porch, he would have nine extra home runs than he actually does. Unfortunately for the Yankees, this may mark the end of Luke Voit’s time in New York, as the 2020 MLB home run leader could be moved for pitching.
Rizzo, 31, has hit 14 home runs with four stolen bases, a .346 OBP, and a .792 OPS in 376 Plate Appearances for the Cubs this year. In his MLB career for the Cubs and San Diego Padres, he has hit 243 homers with 64 stolen bases, a .370 OBP, and an .853 OPS in 5792 Plate Appearances.
This year must really hurt for Cubs fans. The team has not been good and with Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez all slated for free agency in a few months, they are only getting worse. Rizzo is gone and Bryant looks to be next. The list of remaining players of the 2016 World Series team is thin. It is time to look at what the Cubs got. MLB Pipeline ranked Vizcaino 9th and Alcantara 12th in the Yankees system. A hard throwing right-hander, Vizcaino will take Rizzo’s spot on the 40-man roster. He has been hurt for most of this year. Alcantara is a huge, six-foot-six outfielder who was signed internationally in 2019 and has looked good since rookie ball started.
Vizcaino, 24, has a 7.50 ERA with seven strikeouts and a 2.667 WHIP in six innings in the minors this year. In his minor league career, he has a 4.95 ERA with 268 strikeouts and a 1.477 WHIP in 265.1 innings.
Alcantara, 19, has hit a home run with a stolen base and a .968 OPS in 29 Plate Appearances this year. In his short minor league career, Alcantara has hit two home runs with six stolen bases, a .325 OBP, and a .707 OPS in 203 Plate Appearances.