Cubs Acquire Anthony Rizzo

The Cubs have acquired first baseman Anthony Rizzo and right-hander Zach Cates from the Padres for right-hander Andrew Cashner and outfielder Kyung-Min Na, the teams announced. The move provides the Cubs with a potential long-term first baseman and makes room for another first baseman in San Diego.

Anthony Rizzo - Padres

“The acquisition of Yonder Alonso provided us the flexibility to make this trade and acquire a quality, young power arm in Andrew Cashner,” Padres GM Josh Byrnes said. “We are happy to add a pitcher with the pedigree of Cashner and an outfielder with the athleticism of Na.”

The Cubs are presumably out of the running for free agent Prince Fielder with the acquisition of Rizzo. Bryan LaHair will open the season as the Cubs' everyday first baseman and Rizzo will play at Triple-A, GM Jed Hoyer said, tweets Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.

Rizzo, 22, debuted with the Padres last year, posting a .141/.281/.242 line in a 153 plate appearance cameo. He spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a .331/.404/.652 line and hit 26 homers in 413 plate appearances. Baseball America ranked him 75 among MLB prospects entering the 2011 season and first among Padres prospects after the campaign ended. Even if Rizzo (pictured) sticks in the Major Leagues from this point on, he'll be under team control through 2017.

Cates, a 2010 third rounder, made his professional debut in 2011. The 22-year-old posted a 4.73 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 118 innings as a starter at Class A.

Cashner, 25, has a 4.29 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 in 65 innings over the course of two seasons with the Cubs. The 2008 first rounder spent much of the 2011 season on the 60-day disabled list with a strained right rotator cuff, but returned to make six appearances in September. He'll be under team control through 2016. The Padres will use Cashner out of the bullpen, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.

Na, 20, has a .244/.335/.284 line in 519 plate appearances over the course of two seasons in the lower levels of the minor leagues. He has played all three outfield positions professionally and spent most of his time in center.

When the Red Sox drafted Rizzo in the sixth round of the 2007 draft, current Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein was Boston's GM, Hoyer was his assistant GM and Jason McLeod was his scouting director. Hoyer, McLeod, Byrnes and the Padres acquired Rizzo from Epstein and the Red Sox in last offseason's Adrian Gonzalez deal. It's worth noting that Byrnes worked with Hoyer and Epstein in Boston before becoming Arizona's GM in 2005. 

Photo courtesy Icon SMI.


421 Responses to Cubs Acquire Anthony Rizzo Leave a Reply

  1. 2016? if that’s true Ricketts, Epstein, Hoyer, Sveum will all be leaving the north side.
    Big market teams should not have 4 years to rebuild. 1 or 2 and then after you purge bad contracts (Zambrano gone, Soriano going, Dempster in his last year) sign productive free agents. Cub fans should not wait pass 2013.

    • jb226 3 years ago

      I honestly expect the Cubs to spend pretty big next offseason, because there is at least the potential for some very good starting pitching (Hamels, Cain and more) to be available and that is something that the Cubs desperately need and really don’t have coming.

      As far as this season, I expect the purge to continue.  I think Garza, Soriano and Byrd will all be gone by the deadline if not sooner.  If Soto starts out strong after his down year, he might well be gone too.  What we manage to get for those players will obviously dictate the approach for next season.

    • jb226 3 years ago

      I honestly expect the Cubs to spend pretty big next offseason, because there is at least the potential for some very good starting pitching (Hamels, Cain and more) to be available and that is something that the Cubs desperately need and really don’t have coming.

      As far as this season, I expect the purge to continue.  I think Garza, Soriano and Byrd will all be gone by the deadline if not sooner.  If Soto starts out strong after his down year, he might well be gone too.  What we manage to get for those players will obviously dictate the approach for next season.

  2. Ok Theo call Boston and ask for some ca$h and Crawford for $oriano.

    Let’s see if you can get whatever you want?

  3. NiceGamePrettyBoy 3 years ago

    I’m surprised how many people think this is a steal for the Cubs. Seems like maybe the Pads could have got more back for Rizzo for Cashner is no slouch. I don’t know if he’ll hold up as a starter but he could be the Pads next closer very soon. Rizzo is still young but man his debut didn’t leave much to be excited about. Long swing, lotsa strikeouts, meh.

    • Beersy 3 years ago

      Man I hope you’re right.  I just think Byrnes is going a little over board with this whole bullpen thing as it was his achilles heel in Arizona.  He has now traded 4 top 30 prospects in San Diegos’ system in the span of a week.  This team is only going to be successful if they build from within and I know they will have to deal prospects once they are in contention, but I wouldn’t say they are close to contending quite yet.  I’m hoping Byrnes knows what he’s doing.  I guess if Cashner turns into the Padres next lights out closer, then everybody will have a different point of view.

    • You do realize that Rizzo was only 21 last year, right? Most prospects that age are still grinding it out in the low minors and that goes even for the highly rated. Rizzo then beat the crap out of the ball in AAA (I know, PCL and all, but still very impressive), a level most 21 year olds rarely see either.

      Padres sold way low here. Given Cashner’s injury history there’s a much greater chance Rizzo sticks as a quality 1B than Cash does as a quality SP (and about the only way the Pads don’t lose this trade is if Cash sticks in the rotation). Even if Byrnes was as bearish as you are on Rizzo’s chances, you still hold onto him and see if you can get a better return than a young pitcher with limited starting experience and shoulder issues.

      • NiceGamePrettyBoy 3 years ago

        I’ll agree that it seems like the Padres may have sold low here, everyone seems to have a pretty high opinion of Rizzo. Maybe Byrnes feels like Rizzo’s star is going to fade? Prospects can lose their status with one down year. Michael Taylor’s season a couple years ago comes to mind.

         I didn’t mean to come across like I think he’ll never make it, I just mean that everyone is acting like the Cubs got a guy who’s going to be a surefire .300/.400/.500 hitter in the future, and that’s not the case. He wouldn’t be the first guy to tear it up in the PCL and disappoint in the bigs. 

      • you do realize that he’s 21 and has only had success at the minor league level.  Everybody seems enamored with this kid but he hasn’t really done anything.  To say he’s going to be a major star in the major may be a bit of a stretch considering many minor leaguers have had success.  Not all of those players had success at the major league level.

        just saying.

  4. scott brecht 3 years ago

    you realize they finished with an identical record, right?  also, the central was a lot tougher of a division last year.  nice try genius.  

  5. Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

    scott, with all due respect, its clear to me he is not a genius, but is a wizard!

  6. melonis_rex 3 years ago

    It really wasn’t. The Central had better top teams, but also far worse  teams at the bottom. The West didn’t have a truly terrible team, just a few mediocre ones, while it didn’t have a great one either. 

    A division with all teams being either great or terrible isn’t as strong as a division with all teams near the middle with some good. 

  7. cwizard 3 years ago

    Well, spending 100 million dollars less than the Cubs to achieve the same record seems like a BETTER move to me. Let me rephrase it. The Padres are smarter, more efficient and at least have gone to the world series in the last 20 years. 

  8. scott brecht 3 years ago

    the central division also had to play the al east in interleague. the west played the very weak al central.  just because the padres had that hot start a few season ago, don’t try to act like the padres are a good team.  and remember whose prospects essentially knocked you out of playoff contention at the end of the year.  

  9. scott brecht 3 years ago

    whose comment was removed.  haha

  10. Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

    Yer a wizard, Harry!

  11. melonis_rex 3 years ago

    I didn’t think of interleague. 

    I was thinking of the Astros’ existence in the division; the team that’s 15 games worse than any other NL team. The Padres had the Rox and then 3 .500 or better teams including the 90+ win DBacks; the Cubs had the horribad Astros, the Reds/Pirates who were also sub-500, and then the really good Brewers and Cardinals.

     PS: Not a Padres fan.

  12. roberty 3 years ago

    At least it’s an ethos.

  13. Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

    Thanks Hagrid!

  14. jayrig5 3 years ago

    I believe you mean “were” smarter and more efficient.  As a Cubs fan, I agree with you wholeheartedly that up until this offseason, the Padres had been smarter for the past however many years.  The Cubs were not run well, while the Padres, especially over the past couple years, had some great minds in charge.

    The problem is, the Cubs stole those guys.  And Theo.  So going forward, it’s hard to argue the Cubs won’t be at least as smart as the Padres.  If you want to bash Hendry and the ridiculous management the past few years, go for it.  I’m all for it, and like I said, I’m a Cubs fan.

    But you have to acknowledge that they’ve taken huge strides in the right direction with their front office overhaul.

  15. slider32 3 years ago

    Theo is making the Cubs younger and stronger, good move on his part. Most free agents are gambles and over paid, can’t fault him for past moves, everyone thougtht Lackey was a good pick up.

  16. poor choice of words, unless the Cubs starting SS was involved

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