Former Chicago Cubs star Anthony Rizzo is off to a fantastic start for the New York Yankees
At the trade deadline last season, the Chicago Cubs unloaded several key players and set the rebuild into gear. This included core players, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo.
Another notable member of the Cubs’ previous core is Kyle Schwarber. He last played for the Cubs in 2020, but he joined Rizzo, Bryant, and Baez in this offseason’s exciting free agency period.
These former members of the Cubs’ core all signed massive contracts before this season began. All of their contracts combined are worth a whopping $433 million. Unfortunately, these players have yet to make much of an impact on their new teams. The one exception to that is Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo garnered the least significant contract of these players as he re-signed with the Yankees for 2-years and $32 million.
Baez and Schwarber are off to underwhelming starts with their new clubs. Baez is now with the Detroit Tigers and is only batting .216 with a .586 OPS in 26 games. Schwarber has also struggled so far. His power certainly hasn’t faded as he has already launched 9 home runs. Unfortunately, he has racked up 43 strikeouts in 142 plate appearances. His batting average also only sits at .189 through 33 games. The former MVP, Kris Bryant, has put up good numbers with the Colorado Rockies. Unfortunately for Bryant, he has struggled to stay on the field. He has only appeared in 15 of the Rockies’ 34 games.
That leaves Rizzo.
Anthony Rizzo’s hot start for New York Yankees
Although his batting average has been abnormally low to start the season at .225, he has been incredibly productive for the Yankees. Rizzo has recorded 9 home runs this season which is tied for 5th in the league (tied with Schwarber and 5 others). His power-hitting teammates, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton, also rank at 1st and 4th, respectively. Currently, Rizzo also sits at 14th in the league in RBIs with 23. The Yankees have been incredible this season and Rizzo has been a key contributor.
Of these former Cubs, Rizzo is the only one who re-signed with their new club. Perhaps the extra familiarity or comfort with his new environment has been beneficial. Playing in front of the bright lights of New York City is a difficult or even impossible adjustment for some players. Anthony Rizzo seems to be handling it just fine. Of course, there is still a massive chunk of the season remaining and this can all change in a heartbeat.
Rizzo returned to Chicago over the weekend to face the Chicago White Sox. Fans will not be surprised to see that he continues to be incredibly charitable towards the city he spent almost ten years in.
Although the Cubs are off to a rough start this season, fans will always have a soft spot for the players that brought them the 2016 World Series. These players are all sure to become major contributors to their new clubs as the season progresses.
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