MLB Rumors: Yankees Rival Has Rizzo As "No. 1 Target"

It appears that the New York Yankees have competition for more than just their No. 1 priority free agent in Aaron Judge. The long-accepted notion that first baseman Anthony Rizzo was a slam dunk to return to the Big Apple may be challenged in the weeks ahead. 

According to MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Yankees' hated rival  Houston Astros "have identified Anthony Rizzo as their No. 1 free-agent target at first base."

As Rosenthal notes, "signing Rizzo would serve the dual purpose of bolstering their own roster while weakening the Yankees’." 

That would certainly be a tough pill to swallow if the Bronx Bombers lost Rizzo to the Astros. As of Tuesday morning, the 33-year-old slugger still has the option of accepting the Yankees' $19.65 qualifying offer for 2023 and then re-entering the free agent market next year, but this is seen as very doubtful.

Rizzo is coming off a revitalized power campaign, slugging 32 home runs—topping the 30-HR mark for the first time in five years. And with the news that the Astros are hot on his trail, it's likely he can get himself a multi-year deal on the open market—whether from Houston, the Yankees, or someone else. 

 Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports