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So much for Prince Fielder: Cubs acquire Anthony Rizzo from Padres for Andrew Cashner

Jan 6, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

Anthony Rizzo AP

Anthony Rizzo‘s future in San Diego was in doubt as soon as the Padres acquired Yonder Alonso from the Reds in the Mat Latos trade last month and today they traded Rizzo and Zach Cates to the Cubs for Andrew Cashner and Kyung-Min Na.

Rizzo was awful in 49 games for the Padres as a 21-year-old rookie, hitting .141 with one homer, but hit .331 with 26 homers and a 1.056 OPS in 93 games at Triple-A. He came to San Diego from Boston in the blockbuster Adrian Gonzalez deal last offseason and ranked as the Padres’ top prospect according to Baseball America.

Cashner was the 19th overall pick in the 2008 draft and the 25-year-old right-hander has thrown 65 innings for the Cubs with a 4.29 ERA and 58/34 K/BB ratio. He’s worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen in the majors and Cashner’s mid-90s fastball could make him a dominant late-inning reliever, but he was a starter in the minors with a 2.82 ERA and 161/80 K/BB ratio in 182 total innings.

Cates was the Padres’ third-round pick in 2010 and the 21-year-old right-hander spent last season at Single-A, posting a 4.73 ERA and 111/53 K/BB ratio in 118 innings as a starter. Na is an athletic 19-year-old outfielder who thrived at rookie-ball last season before struggling with the move up to Single-A.

Cates and Na are both solid prospects, but this trade is very much a Rizzo-for-Cashner swap and the Cubs did well to pick up one of the best hitting prospects in baseball at a discounted price because of his 49-game rookie struggles and the logjam in San Diego created by Alonso’s arrival. Rizzo going to Chicago also takes the Cubs out of the running for Prince Fielder, although he’s expected to begin the season at Triple-A with Bryan LaHair starting at first base.

  1. crisisjunky - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    With regard to Ballpark Factor, Each Player likely will have more overall wins value to their new club than the guy the’re replacing.
    Street =D.L. Greggerson = prospects
    If Cashner becomes strong enough to return to 3-digit heat, he could surprise us with a
    fairly respectable save total, and might step into the rotation in13.

    Though Rizzo’s no Prince, (to quote my jewish mom) he’ll likely equate to something like Pena .
    If contracts were equal, Pena for Bell wouldn’t be a terrible needs trade.
    Nice trade with upside for both sides.

  2. icanspeel - Jan 7, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    As a Padres fan (Yes I admit it) I think they jumped the gun a little too early. Think about it.. Jed coveted Rizzo, went to the Padres, got Rizzo in a trade, played Rizzo prematurely on an offensively struggling Padres team lowering Rizzo’s value, Hoyer then goes to the cubs and gets Rizzo at the lowered value even though he was the one responsible for lowering Rizzo’s value. It may take 2-3 years to really know how things turn out, but Rizzo is young and has a potential higher ceiling than Cashner.

  3. lgwelsh1 - Jan 9, 2012 at 5:02 AM

    Rizzo is a young player with huge potential. The kid can play baseball and they got him for next to nothing. What’s not to love about this trade for the Cubs.

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