The Boston Red Sox were rumored to be in discussions with the Chicago Cubs to trade for first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Instead, he'll be heading to their archrival.
In a surprise turn of events, the New York Yankees swooped in to acquire Rizzo on Thursday.
The New York Yankees today announced that they have acquired INF Anthony Rizzo and cash considerations from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Alexander Vizcaíno and outfielder Kevin Alcántara.
— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) July 30, 2021
It's been a down year for Rizzo at the plate, but the 31-year-old undoubtedly would have been a significant upgrade for Boston at first base. Red Sox first basemen currently rank 28th in MLB in batting average (.218), dead-last in on-base percentage (.262) and 28th in OPS (.651). Rizzo is hitting .248/.346/.446 with 14 homers through 92 games.
It's the second big splash in as many days for the Yankees, who also acquired slugger Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
While Rizzo and Gallo should immediately improve the Yankees' struggling offense, they'll have their work cut out for them as they look to clinch a playoff spot. As of Thursday, New York trails the first-place Red Sox by nine games in the American League East and the Oakland Athletics by three games in the AL wild card race.