Chicago Cubs: Anthony Rizzo’s next home is anybody’s guess

Former Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is set to hit the free agent market for the first time in his 11-year MLB career once the World Series concludes. Of course, Rizzo was in the final year of his contract when he was traded to the New York Yankees prior to the 2021 trade deadline back in July.

He batted .249 in 49 games for the Bronx Bombers, helping them reach the postseason via an AL Wild Card berth. In the end, though, the Yankees fell to the Red Sox in the one-game playoff and their season is over, making Rizzo available to all 30 teams in a matter of weeks.

Looking at this winter’s free agent class of first basemen, Rizzo joins the likes of Freddie Freeman and Brandon Belt as the cream of the crop. All signs point to the Braves making a pitch to Freeman to come back to Atlanta while the Giants seem to have options outside of Belt to fill that hole – although they’ve shown tremendous loyalty to their veterans in recent years. The Yankees have DJ LeMahieu, who signed with them for six years/$90 million last offseason, so they are not exactly looking to pay for another starting first baseman. But, of course, there’s plenty of money to go around up in the Bronx.

It is unclear where Rizzo might find his next landing spot because his name has been very quiet on the market so far. Granted, the baseball season is not over. There is still a champion to be crowned. But we have heard rumblings of other players spiking interest in the league, especially at the shortstop position. This could be because Freeman is still playing with the Braves, and a decision on making a move on either Rizzo or another option may way on what that decision is in Atlanta.

Could a Chicago Cubs, Anthony Rizzo reunion possibly work this winter?

Could a happily ever after be in play for Rizzo and the Cubs? Absolutely. Right now, first base belongs to newfound fan favorite Frank Schwindel – who turned in a monster second half, winning NL Rookie of the Month in both August and September. Adding Rizzo would certainly make him the guy and move Schwindel to other positions on the field. It certainly would not be a downgrade by any means and I’m sure the fans would approve.

How about a homecoming in Miami? Rizzo grew up watching the Marlins, that could be a landing spot for him to finish out his career. That presents an opportunity for more of a leadership position for him as well for a young team with a very unclear direction. Team President Derek Jeter could be looking to make a move like that with eyes on the future.

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We could easily see a short-term deal happen sending Rizzo to an immediate contender like the Red Sox or Rays. Or, if the Braves decline on Freeman, maybe they make a move toward Rizzo. There is a lot on the table right now. Rizzo could be on the phone figuring it out right now, or maybe he is sitting back and taking some time first. Either way, Cubs fans will be closely monitoring where their former captain and champion lands.