Yankees' Updated Starting Lineup, Payroll After Anthony Rizzo, Joey Gallo Trades

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 29, 2021

Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo rounds first after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, June 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo

The New York Yankees aren't done strengthening their offense ahead of Friday's MLB trade deadline.

YES Network's Jack Curry reported the Bronx Bombers are trading Alexander Vizcaino and Kevin Alcantara to the Chicago Cubs for star first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

The move comes on the same day the team confirmed it acquired slugger Joey Gallo and relief pitcher Joely Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers.

With Gallo and Rodriguez accounted for, the Yankees have MLB's second-biggest payroll at $229.6 million, per Spotrac. However, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reported the Rangers will absorb most of the money owed to Gallo ($2.2 million) and Rodriguez ($900,000).

Rizzo is earning $16.5 million this season, and Curry reported the Cubs will pick up the tab on his outstanding salary. The New York Post's Joel Sherman noted how the finances were tight for New York:

Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

For luxury tax purposes, Rizzo has about $5.5M left this year. The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yankees?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Yankees</a> have worked to stay under the $210M luxury tax. That will be impossible unless the Cubs took some or all of the salary or took back a contract.

Here's what the Yankees lineup might look like with the three-time All-Star:

Projected Yankees Lineup

1. DJ LeMahieu, 2B

2. Aaron Judge, RF

3. Joey Gallo, LF

4. Giancarlo Stanton, DH

5. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

6. Gary Sanchez, C

7. Gleyber Torres, SS

8. Gio Urshela, 3B

9. Brett Gardner, CF

Lineup courtesy of FanGraphs

The Yankees probably aren't done dealing. Curry reported Luke Voit is garnering trade interest, and the arrival of Rizzo makes it much easier to move on from the 30-year-old slugger.

In terms of incoming lineup pieces, though, this may be the franchise's last big swing before the deadline. 

MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Wednesday the Yankees were among the teams in on Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story. By pursuing Rizzo, they've seemingly taken themselves out of the Story sweepstakes.

Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

What can be deduced from this trade is that the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yankees?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Yankees</a> are out on Trevor Story because LeMahieu can’t move to 1b/Torres to 2b and Luke Voit’s time as a Yankee is nearing an end — though he would arguably be a better DH than Stanton at this point if he can get back healthy.

Mark Feinsand @Feinsand

One other residual effect of the Rizzo deal: it likely takes the Yankees out of the mix for Trevor Story. With Rizzo at 1B, Gleyber stays at SS and LeMahieu at 2B. Unless the Yankees want Stanton to play the OF full-time and use Rizzo/LeMahieu at DH, there's no spot for Story.

New York is nine games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox in the American League East but only three games off the second wild-card spot. Clearly the front office wasn't content to stand pat and hope the roster could muster together a strong push in the stretch run.

Together, Rizzo and Gallo should help a lineup that's 20th in slugging percentage (.396) and 13th in weighted on-base average (.316), per FanGraphs.

Since there's still time left before Friday's 4 p.m. ET deadline, perhaps general manager Brian Cashman can add another reliever, something of which contending teams can never have enough.