Anthony Rizzo is considered a solid backup plan for teams that miss out on Freddie Freeman. With Freeman’s free agency in flux, what does that mean for Rizzo?
For one, it means Rizzo is waiting to react. For teams like the Braves, Yankees, Dodgers and Blue Jays — all of whom need a first baseman — Rizzo would be a great match. However, all four of those teams have shown interest in Freeman, with Rizzo likely being a backup plan at this stage.
Until the lockout ends, it’s alright for all four teams and the executives which run them to dream. Perhaps Freeman truly is available for the highest bidder, rather than merely using opposing interest to drive up the price for the Braves.
Anthony Rizzo rumors: Freddie Freeman news impacts him, too
Ken Rosenthal’s piece in The Athletic suggested as much earlier this week:
"“Our longstanding assumption — ah, they’ll just work it out — no longer applies. The Braves and Freeman didn’t work it out last spring, last summer or in November with the lockout looming. They still might work it out, considering that an agreement remains the most sensible outcome. But rest assured, both sides are weighing their options. It would not be a surprise for either, once business resumes, to act quickly.”"
And so a longstanding assumption is no more.
Expect a quick strike after the lockout, and the aforementioned decision by Rizzo to follow. If the Braves cannot re-sign Freeman, or negotiations are looking grim, perhaps they’ll trade for local product Matt Olson, who currently plays for the Oakland Athletics.
That narrows down Rizzo’s search. The Yankees, Dodgers, Blue Jays or even Red Sox make a lot of sense for Rizzo, an All-Star caliber first baseman.
He will have a home soon, but don’t expect it to be in the familiar, friendly confines of the north side of Chicago.