Anthony Rizzo back with Yankees hopes Aaron Judge returns ‘for the sake of the game’

NEW YORK — Now that Anthony Rizzo has decided to stick around in the New York Yankees pinstripes, he’d like to see Aaron Judge stick around as well.

“I hope Judge stays just for the sake of the game,” Rizzo said on Wednesday “because you see a lot of franchise icons not getting what they deserve for the team they’ve done so much for.”

Rizzo agreed to a two-year, $40 million deal on Tuesday, one week after turning down a $16 million player option.

“My wife, Emily, and I really love it here. We love the city. We love the energy. We love Yankee Stadium. We love going to Yankee Stadium and playing in that park every day,” Rizzo said. “And you look at the team, the New York Yankees is a team that, this organization, this franchise, that has consistently fielded winning products.”

Rizzo gets $17 million in each of the next two seasons, and the first baseman deal includes a $17 million team option for 2025 with a $6 million buyout.

Judge, who remains on the free agent market, reached out to Rizzo after the deal.

“Just congratulations — the basics: ‘Deserved. Happy for you. Say hello to Emily,'” Rizzo recalled.

He hit .224 with 75 RBI and hit 32 home runs for the fourth time in his career. He hit 19 home runs at Yankee Stadium, six of which are near the right foul line.

Rizzo said his back didn’t get in the way of him during offseason workouts.

Signed by the Chicago Cubs on the 2021 trade deadline, Rizzo helped the Cubs capture the 2016 World Series title, their first in 108 years.

“Just playing baseball isn’t enough in a big market. There’s a lot of other things that come with it and I love doing those things,” he said. “I like taking responsibility for doing these things, standing up to talk to the media, good, bad or indifferent. And I think it really teaches you a lot about this game of baseball and teaches you valuable lessons in your life. Everyone loves you. When you’re good, your coaches, the media, your friends, everyone, you’re the best thing on earth. But things go wrong, that’s when you really discover who you are.”

He did not specify which other teams have contacted him. although he did not have face-to-face meetings.

“When teams reach out to you in this process, they make you feel good,” Rizzo said. “I feel like in this game you’re being told what you don’t really do well, so in free agency when teams call, they praise you.”

Look ahead to next season’s defensive rosters restrictions.

“I hope, obviously optimistically, like any lefty, I feel very affected by shifts, like many lefties around the league,” he said. “Those maybe insignificant little singles that go into the hole there, I feel like turning a lot of us lefties into a very dangerous hitter.”

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