Yankees Spurn Red Sox, Pull Off Blockbuster Trade Deadline Move

By Jason Hall

July 30, 2021

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Photo: Getty Images

The New York Yankees added a big bat to their lineup at the expense of their biggest rival.

ESPN reports the Yankees acquired Chicago Cubs All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo in exchange for right-handed pitcher Alexander Vizcaino and outfielder Kevin Alcantara, both minor league prospects, on Thursday (July 29) afternoon.

The move came after days of reports indicating that Rizzo was likely headed to the Boston Red Sox, which included MLB Network's Jon Morosi reporting the Red Sox and Cubs had "discussed an Anthony Rizzo trade as recently as the last 24 hours" within hours of the Yankees' trade being announced.

On Wednesday, ESPN's Jeff Passan also reported the Red Sox had discussed a trade involving Rizzo with the Cubs.

"The Cubs have at least had preliminary conversations with Boston about a deal for Rizzo, according to sources, as Boston has the worst first-base production of any team in baseball this season," Passan wrote via ESPN+ (subscription needed).

Rizzo, a three-time All-Star, was an integral part of the Cubs ending their 108-year World Series drought in 2016, but was among several big names reported to be on the trading block given the franchise's plan to rebuild its roster.

On Thursday, Rizzo thanked the Chicago fans, while expressing his excitement in joining the Yankees, given his wife Emily's ties to the northeast.

“All good things come to an end,” Rizzo said to reporters in Chicago via NJ.com. “To be able to go to another historic franchise like the Yankees, it’s unbelievable. Getting all the calls and texts, how excited they are, how excited I am. My family is all from New Jersey and New York. Emily’s family is up in Connecticut. It’s going to be a really special opportunity for me these next three months. I’m just going to enjoy it all.”

Rizzo is currently hitting for a .248 batting average with 14 home runs and 40 RBI in 376 plate appearances during the 2021 season.

The Yankees also acquired slugger Joey Gallo on Wednesday (July 28), with both moves aiming to boost their lineup.

New York is currently 8.5 games behind Boston for first place in the AL East Division standings.

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