It’s Official: First Baseman Opts Out Of Contract

It was thought to be a foregone conclusion for weeks now, but it's become official: First baseman Anthony Rizzo has opted out of his contract with the New York Yankees. 
Rizzo passed on the $16M option, but as noted by MLB Insider Jon Heyman, now with the Yankees expected to submit the Qualifying Offer of $19M, it could look a little juicier for Rizzo. Nevertheless, the two sides are still anxious to work out a multi-year deal with each other, likely for two years perhaps in the $19-$20M/year range.

It was a big comeback season for Rizzo on the power front, who, at the age of 32, blasted 32 homers with 75 RBIs and an .817 OPS, while being a clubhouse leader. It was his first time reaching the 30-HR mark in five years, but it did, however, come with far less contact, and his lowest batting average (.224) outside of the shortened small-sample-size 2020 season. 

Rizzo is a fan favorite in Yankee Stadium; he was a Gold Glove finalist at first base and his left-handed power bat is suited for the park. His return is considered inevitable.

Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports