5 players the Boston Red Sox must avoid in free agency
Red Sox must avoid Yankees 1B Anthony Rizzo
No player was more coveted at the trade deadline by Red Sox fans than Anthony Rizzo. A former top prospect before being dealt to the Padres, Rizzo would spend just one year in San Diego before being traded again to the Cubs. It was on the North Side where the big first baseman would become a legend, totaling 242 home runs and 748 RBIs in his ten years with the Cubs and leading the club to their first World Series title in 86 years. As great as Rizzo was on the field, he was just as special off the field, as his outgoing personality and overall positive demeanor made him a beloved figure in Chicago.
After a spectacular decade with the Cubs, Rizzo was shipped to the Yankees this past summer. Yet as he enters free agency for the first time in his career, Rizzo is clearly not the player he once was:
2014-2019: .284/.388/.513 32 HR 105 RBI per 162 games
2020-2021: .240/.343/.432 27 HR 69 RBI per 162 games
The advanced metrics also show a deep decline from Rizzo’s prime. His barrel percentage has dropped 1.6% since 2017 and his XBA has fallen 24% over the same period. His 9.0 BB% was his lowest total since 2012, while his 15.1 K% was his highest in a full season since 2016.
Though Rizzo will still likely get a multi-year deal based solely on pedigree and likeability, it is foolish to still consider him one of the best first basemen on the game. With Bobby Dalbec coming off a terrific second half and top prospect Triston Casas looming in the minors, there is no reason for the Red Sox to take a chance on him.