The New York Yankees acquired Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo for two minor leaguers Thursday in their second major trade this week for desperately needed left-handed bats.
Chicago will pay the Yankees $5,652,403 as part of the trade, covering all but $202,435 of the remainder of Rizzo’s $16.5 million salary, which comes to a prorated share of the $570,500 minimum.
The swap came ahead of the Major League Baseball trade deadline Friday at 4 p.m. Earlier in the day, the Yankees announced they had gotten All-Star slugger Joey Gallo from Texas.
Rizzo is batting .248 with 14 home runs and 40 RBIs. The 31-year-old had been a fixture at Wrigley Field for a decade, and helped the Cubs break their long World Series drought with a championship in 2016.
Popular in the clubhouse and with Cubs fans, Rizzo didn’t play in a 7-4 loss at home to Cincinnati on Thursday. The three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner can become a free agent after the season.
New York is fourth in the AL wild-card chase for two spots. The Yankees lost 14-0 at Tampa Bay on Thursday.
The Cubs have been in a prolonged slide that dropped them below .500, prompting speculation they would trade some of their stars.
The Yankees sent right-hander Alexander Vizcaino and outfielder Kevin Alcantara to the Cubs.
Both Rizzo and Gallo are both left-handed hitters, which the Yankees had seeking to add to a lineup that was predominantly right-handed – not a good mix at Yankee Stadium, with its short porch in right field.
The Yankees had been using a mix at first base this year with DJ LeMahieu getting a lot of time. Luke Voit led the majors in home runs last year during the pandemic-shortened season, but the big first baseman has been injured for much of the year.
Rizzo began his career with San Diego in 2011, then went to the Cubs in 2012. He is a career .269 hitter with 243 home runs – sixth on the Cubs’ all-time list – and 793 RBIs.
The 24-year-old Vizcaino was a highly ranked prospect in the Yankees’ system. He pitched six times this year in the low minors after starting the season on the injured list.
The 19-year-old Alcantara hit .360 in eight games this year for the Florida Complex League Yankees.