With Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo, the Yankees have added two power left-handed bats with excellent discipline.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — At the beginning of July, Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said being a seller at the trade deadline is “not a direction I’m contemplating right now.”
He’s proving that to be true prior to the Friday deadline.
On the same day the Yankees announced the acquisition of outfielder Joey Gallo in a trade from the Rangers, the Yankees reached a deal to trade for first baseman Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs, according to sources, sending a pair of minor leaguers to Chicago: right-hander Alexander Vizcaino and outfielder Kevin Alcantara.
The 24-year-old Viazcaino was at High-A Hudson Valley and Alcantara, 18, was with the Florida Complex League team in Tampa.
According to The Post’s Joel Sherman, the Cubs are also picking up the remaining money on Rizzo’s contract — about $5.5 million — with the first baseman set to become a free agent following this season, a move that left the Yankees roughly $4 million shy of the $210 million luxury-tax threshold and able to make more trades prior to Friday.
Rizzo turns 32 next month and doesn’t quite have the power he used to. He has 14 homers and a .792 OPS this season, but he’ll be a contact hitter in a lineup filled with swing-and-miss hitters, another left-handed bat and solid at first.
He’d play first base, with DJ LeMahieu likely staying at second, Gio Urshela at third and Gleyber Torres at shortstop.
Luke Voit, nearing a return from a stint on the injured list due to left knee inflammation, could be the odd man out, since Giancarlo Stanton is locked in at DH. Voit has struggled to stay healthy this season, sidelined by knee surgery in spring training and a strained oblique during the season, before hitting the IL again due to the knee.
And after leading the majors with 22 homers a year ago, Voit has been ineffective at the plate even when on the field, with just three home runs and a .698 OPS in 122 plate appearances.
The move for Rizzo helps the Yankees completely shake up their offense, which many believed was too right-handed — especially after Aaron Hicks was lost for the season following wrist surgery.
With Rizzo and Gallo, they have added two power left-handed bats with excellent discipline.
And Rizzo would also add championship experience from the Cubs.
Sending Vizacaino and Alcantara to the Cubs — after the Yankees shipped four prospects to Texas for Gallo and two more to the Reds in exchange for righty reliever Clay Holmes — still leaves the Yankees with their top prospects in the organization, including outfielder Jasson Dominguez and infielder Anthony Volpe.
According to sources, the Yankees remained in the market for more pitching, as they look to strengthen their bullpen.
As for the luxury-tax threshold, after Steinbrenner said he would “absolutely consider’’ going over it if it would help the team contend for a title, the organization seems determined to remain under it this year.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin