Former Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo looks to bounce back from concussion

Following an on-field collision last summer, Rizzo's performance cratered and he was later diagnosed with a concussion and placed on the IL two months later.

New York Yankees v Colorado Rockies
New York Yankees v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

I'm still not sure how Anthony Rizzo's concussion went undiagnosed by the Yankees for two months last summer - but it's nice to hear that the longtime Cubs staple has gotten the 'all-clear' from doctors and will head into spring training without any restrictions related to the injury.

Rizzo got out to a scorching hot start in 2023 for New York, putting up a .304/.376/.505 slash line leading up to the collision with Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. But he was never the same after, limping to a .172/.271/.225 before the Yankees finally placed him on concussion protocol and ended his season in August.

An air of uncertainty will surround Anthony Rizzo until he shows a return to form following his concussion from last year

Brian Cashman spoke to reporters this week - less than a month before the Yankees will report to camp in Florida - and said Rizzo will have zero restrictions heading into spring training, while emphasizing there's always some level of uncertainty when it comes to head injuries and concussions.

"We’re optimistic and hopeful that he’s fine and ready to go. We’ve been led to believe that that would be the case and that he’ll be the Anthony Rizzo we can count on. But we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out."

Brian Cashman on Anthony Rizzo

Now entering his age-34 season, the three-time All-Star is heading into the final guaranteed year of his deal with the Yankees. New York holds a $17 million team option for 2025, but it's safe to say Rizzo needs to produce in 2024 if there's any chance of Cashman picking that up to keep him in the Bronx.

This marks the start of Rizzo's third full season in New York after Jed Hoyer traded him to the Yankees in a flurry of moves at the 2021 trade deadline. After finishing out that season with the team, Rizzo and Cashman hammered out a two-year, $40 million deal with that aforementioned team option for 2025.

During his 10-year run with the Cubs, Rizzo emerged as the face of the franchise, leading the team to a long-coveted World Series title in 2016, earning four Gold Gloves, a Platinum Glove, a Silver Slugger, three All-Star appearances and a trio of top 10 MVP finishes. Since joining the Yankees, he's hit .235/ .334/.433 (113 OPS+) in 278 games.