Let's Set Odds: Where Will Anthony Rizzo Play Next?

Rizzo is a free agent for the first time.
Rizzo is a free agent for the first time. / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Three All-Star appearances, four Gold Gloves, a Platinum Glove, a Silver Slugger, and a World Series Championship.

After 10 and a half seasons on the North Side of Chicago, and one late summer in the Bronx, first baseman Anthony Rizzo enters the free agent market for the first time. 

Rizzo swung a strong bat for a decade, but has since seen his numbers dip. He has a career .850 OPS, but has seen that number land shy of .800 in the last two campaigns; .755 OPS in 2020 and .783 OPS in 2021. 

Always bringing with him a vacuum of a glove at first base, fielding may be the strongest component to Rizzo’s game at this stage of his career.

Who wouldn’t want a great fielding first baseman? A sure-handed first baseman is the rising tide that lifts all boats . . . in the infield. 

WynnBET Sportsbook doesn’t have any listed odds for where the former curse-shattering Cub will play in 2022, so let’s set odds for Rizzo's next destination.

Boston Red Sox (+200)

Anthony Rizzo was drafted by the Boston Red Sox as a sixth round pick back in 2007. Maybe Rizzo will want to finish off where it all started.

Boston’s primary first baseman last year was the youngster, Bobby Dalbec. He didn’t have a performance that would convince any front office that he is a long-term answer. Dalbec batted just .240, but showed some decent power, hitting 25 home runs. The problem was his defense, as Dalbec finished tied for second in the American League in errors committed at first base. Only Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins had more errors.

As your Dad says, “Defense wins Championships." 

Rizzo makes a great fielding-focused signing by the Red Sox.

Miami Marlins (+350)

The Marlins have a great young pitching staff, so what better way to bolster it than by bringing in the best defensive first baseman on the market.

Rizzo’s bat still has enough juice to provide some thump in the middle of the lineup, and he could also play a role in mentoring some of the Marlins developing position players. Rizzo has won a World Series, he could bring a lot of confidence into a clubhouse that is mostly familiar with losing.

Rizzo is from the area, graduating from Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Who says you can’t go home again?

Chicago Cubs (+500)

Rizzo will be forever linked to the Chicago Cubs franchise, catching the throw from Kris Bryant from third base that ended the Cubs 108-year Championship drought. 

Kris Bryant is gone, Javy Baez is gone, and Anthony Rizzo is gone. That’s a lot of money off of Chicago’s books, so maybe Rizzo is just gone for now.

The NL Central is a topsy-turvy division, it may not take any of the clubs much effort to get to the top of the division, if they were just willing to spend. 

Frank Schwindel was the Cubs’ best first baseman last season, and he was surprisingly good for a 29-year old rookie. But he was a 29-year old rookie.

A light-hitting first baseman won’t demand too much on the open market, so Chicago could certainly bring back Rizzo without putting too much of a dent in their payroll. Rizzo could return to Wrigleyville if the price is right.

Who says you can’t go to your second home again?

New York Yankees (+750)

The Yankees will look to contend in 2022. If Rizzo wants to play for a contender, why not go back to the club he spent August and September with?

Rizzo provided a huge boost to the Yankees offense when he first arrived, but cooled off slightly as the season waned.

Rizzo’s glove would certainly benefit a Yankees team that finished 27th in errors in 2021.

Who says you can’t go to your summer home again?

Atlanta Braves (+1000)

What happens if Freddie Freeman signs somewhere else? Freeman signs some monster 7-year, $200 million contract with another club, and now you have an MVP-sized hole at first base.

Take a bite of one of those famous Georgia peaches, and relax. 

Losing Freeman would sting, but Atlanta could save a lot of money by going with Rizzo at first. Plus, with all the money the Braves could save by Freeman walking out the door, they could lock up other players, like Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Mike Soroka, and Max Fried to put around their cornerstone piece of Ronald Acuña Jr.

It’s not a bad fit for Rizzo, just tough for the Freeman fans.

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