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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. hackerjay - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    The Cubs are starting to put together a pretty nice looking young team. I don’t think Cashner will make it as a starter, so this seems like a pretty solid deal for Theo and company.

    • tone360 - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:07 PM

      O.k I’m trying to follow the chain but I don’t know who H.B is. Please enlighten me. I too loved the Clement deal but I’m a Cubs fan.

    • Old Gator - Jan 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      They are. It’s going to have some growing pains but, in another hundred years or so, they should be poised for a new rebuilding program.

  2. 18thstreet - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Theo, you’ve done it again, you magnificent bastard!

    • skeleteeth - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      You mean Jed Hoyer.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      18thstreet is quoting a General Patton comment about Rommel. Unfortunately, things did not end well for Rommel.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        I really didn’t know who I was quoting there. Thanks for the history lesson!

        I’m a Theo groupie. I admit it. I love the guy. When he was with the Sox, I defended every last thing he ever did. (No one defends the Matt Clement deal like I do. And I include Matt Clement’s friends and family in that.) So, really, I was making a joke for myself — that whatever moves he’s making for the Cubs, they are — by definition — brilliant.

        In my head, it’s hilarious. Stick with me; I also occasionally have coherent thing to add to a discussion. I’ve got this great routine where I tell Halladay’s Bicepts what an idiot he is. It’s a classic.

      • cur68 - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:45 PM

        Ahh, good old HB… those were the days…we were all so much younger then, just fools really…if only we known it might end, would we have acted differently? … Yeah, probably not.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:47 PM

        What happened to him?

      • natstowngreg - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:49 PM

        There was a scene in the movie version where Patton (George C. Scott) yells out something like “you magnificant bastard, I read your book!” Referring to Rommel’s writing about tank tactics. Patton’s tanks proceed to beat Rommel’s tanks, to stirring music.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:49 PM

        18th – HB asked Craig to ban him for his own good, and he did. He probably would have been anyway.

    • tone360 - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:09 PM

      O.k I’m trying to follow the chain but I don’t know who H.B is. Please enlighten me. I too loved the Clement deal but I’m a Cubs fan.

      • cur68 - Jan 7, 2012 at 3:13 AM

        A commenter by the handle of “halladaysbicepts”. He is an HBT legend. Turned up about this time last off-season. The misspelled handle said it all: lack of prudence with his commenting and an iron clad faith in his Phillys.

        Contrary to what some will tell you, he was not a troll, just very opinionated. He was unable to back down from an unconsidered remark and so easy to work into a rage that the trolls all came to feast like flies to an open wound.

        Sometimes, especially when he’d get drunk and post, even the grown ups around here would get into it with him. 18thstreet & he used to have some epic posts. I swear though, when sober and reflective, that guy was pretty decent and he posted some funny comments when he was on his game. Nobody loved Carlie Manuel more and nobody cut Cholly up more for talking all “aww-shucks” than HB.

        Craig had to ban him once then unbanned him when HB promised to cool it. Came back on the board with “biceps” spelled correctly and he hung in there for a while, but slowly, ‘cepts crept back in.

        When the Phillys failed to win the Series, he went fully back to his old ‘bicepts’ ways…he didn’t survive Wilson Ramos’s kidnapping. It was his opinion that, “really, what could you expect to happen in Latin America? Kidnapping is what they do over there” or words to that effect. America for Americans first, that was HB, loud and proud and at least 80 proof. ‘Natch, this caused friction.

        I miss that guy: he was lively and up for a baseball joke anytime. I refused to comment with him after 7pm, though. His drunk commenting was what ultimately did him in. It is my hope that where ever he is he’s gotten himself cleaned up, sober, and learned some restraint.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 7, 2012 at 9:33 AM

        This was unbelievably comprehensive. I never gave him nearly that much thought.

        At some point, I started giving him thumbs down before reading, and then I’d go back and see what he wrote. He was really stupid.

  3. muckthefets23 - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    I really hope this doesn’t push the Fat Prince to the Nats deal along any further.

    • dcfan4life - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      It probably will unfortunately. Only good news is he may come in far cheaper than originally thought with no high profile big spending teams calling his name.

    • cur68 - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      Almost certainly does see Boras turn the heat up on his lil’ Huckleberry, Rizzo (no not THIS Rizzo, the other one). Matter of days before the announcement comes in: Fielder’s a Nat and rich(er) to boot. Boras OWNS Rizzo.

  4. psuravens19 - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    That loud noise was Mike Rizzo’s huge sigh of relief. Doesn’t appear any of the top paying, big market teams are in on Fielder.

    Now if the Market “completely crashes” maybe my O’s will try and sign him.

  5. b7p19 - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    They had better be looking at Cashner as a starter or my Padres got fleeced. It’s been up and down all offseason for Byrnes. Don’t sign Bell (good), sign another old utility oufielder in Kotsay (WTF!), get a nice haul for Latos (good), give Rizzo away for releiver (WTF?). I sure hope they make him a starter and he succeeds.

  6. willbeking - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    As a Brewers fan I must say, damn you Theo.

  7. illegalblues - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    wow, i really like this move for the cubs. rizzo’s pull oriented approach should work wonders in wrigley. really like the moves their new front office has been making.

    • spudchukar - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      Yeah, cause the alleys are the short porches.

  8. rooney24 - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    So, the Cubs acquire a 1st baseman that hit .141 in the majors and they are automatically out of interest in Fielder? I know he might be a prospect, but a lot of prospects don’t pan out. That is like saying the Nationals are out because they have LaRoche.

    The Cubs may truly not be interested, but if so, it isn’t entirely due to this move. You can’t tell me they wouldn’t be back in if Fielder’s demands dropped to 5 years, $14 million per season (or some other more reasonable number than what he wants now).

    • drewsylvania - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      a) Fielder won’t drop that low.
      b) The Cubs are rebuilding.

      • SmackSaw - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        Rebuilding? From what? The Cubs are in a perpetual state of building.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:28 PM

        I think it’s fascinating whenever a fan suggests that organizations are living creatures, still responsible for their pasts. (Mitt Romney: Corporations are people, my friend!)

        Look, the Cubs have made some terrible decisions in the past. They will in the future. But the decision to trade Lou Brock wasn’t Jed Hoyer’s. Resident idiot Bozosforall made some crack about the Red Sox trading away Bagwell for Anderson. Look, I know they did. But Dan Duquette didn’t do it. Theo Epstein didn’t do it. Whathisface Newguy didn’t do it.

        The Cubs are no more bound to their past than their own fans insist them to be. Believe, Chicago. Believe.

      • cur68 - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:55 PM

        I think you’re right, 18. They got as good a baseball guy running the show as anyone does (and a mile better than a goodly few do: yeah, Coletti, I’m lookin’ at you). I don’t care what anyone says: Epstien had his share to do with turning The Sox into winners. He’s trying to use that magic for the Cubs. Anthony Rizzo could be just what they need.

      • skeleteeth - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:09 PM


        That would be the Yawkey’s muppet Lou Gorman that traded the Eastern League MVP for a lush.

        I like the cut of yer jib nonetheless.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 7, 2012 at 9:42 AM

        Oh, I remember Lou. (“The sun will rise, the sun will set, and I’ll eat lunch.”) I’m 36 and I started following the team for real when I was about seven, so that would have been the summer of 1982.

        Looking back, I can’t believe the crap we put up with. Dave Stapleton was my favorite back then (I loved his mustache), but I look at his stats now and I can’t believe he was a starting, major league first baseman. We used to argue about whether Wade Boggs was selfish, because he walked so much. Jeez, ever look at Tony Armas’s stats? I think he had an OBP that was a negative number.

        All things considered, the Bagwell trade was a little understandable. The team had a proposterous logjam at third. I don’t remember the whole list, but among the choices were Boggs, Valentin, Naehring (who I think mostly played short, but not well), Scott Cooper, and Bagwell. Someone had to get traded. Gorman chose the wrong guy, and he should absolutely be crucified for it. What I don’t understand is why they were pursuing guys like Jack Clark to play DH instead of …

        Sigh. It’s all in the past, right?

    • 78mu - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      I think he turned down 5 years 19 million per from the Brewers which I presume is still on the table.

      But yeah, Theo can offer him 14 million a year and wait for a return phone call. And wait. And wait. And wait………..

      • pugs02 - Jan 7, 2012 at 5:20 PM

        i don’t think its possible for it to be on the table still.. The Brew Crew have signed Aramis and Alex Gonzalez. I would presume there isn’t much money left to be spent.

    • uwsptke - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      You couldn’t tell me that the LA Angels aren’t interested at 5 years, $14 mil per. That’s a crazy low number.

      • JBerardi - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:23 PM

        Well, they could use the depth at 1B/DH…

    • spartytime - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      you realize he was only 20 last year, played in a pitchers park, and most rookies struggle in majors…

      please look at his minor numbers and tell me he wont be a fine addition to majors one day. so he struggles, he sucks? hes younger than castro for goodness sake lol

      • spudchukar - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:50 PM

        Yeah, he was so awesome that Theo dealt him in the Gonzales deal. If he was that sure of a thing, one would imagine the Sox management would have given him the job in Boston.

      • trevorb06 - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:05 PM

        spud, who did Thoe trade him to? Who is the GM of the Cubs?

      • wlschneider09 - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:25 PM

        The original trade that sent Rizzo from the Sox to the Padres, that was Theo.

      • paperlions - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:28 PM

        Theo, while GM of the RS, dealt Rizzo to SD in the Gonzalez deal. Now Hoyer, former SD GM and current GM of the Cubs, dealt for him.

      • drewsylvania - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:00 PM

        If Rizzo wasn’t a good prospect, he’d never have helped net Gonzalez.

      • skeleteeth - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:12 PM

        Saw him in the Padres/Sox series in August. Effortless swing with lots of potential at the plate. Made me think for a bit the Sox had made a mistake but then I remembered the Hanley Ramirez deal and came down off that ledge.

  9. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    I think Cashner looked really promising – I wanted to see what potential he could reach with the Cubs – but if Rizzo so much as turns into a Gaby Sanchez sort of 1B, this will be a fantastic deal for the Cubs.

    It’s still so weird seeing the Cubs clean up the garage like they have this offseason. Feels like I’m in Sliders or something.

    • 78mu - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      I think there’s a Soriano in the corner of the garage that still needs to be cleaned up. I’m not sure Theo’s broom is that big.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        I have a friend that ran into Soriano at a WingStop last night, about 2 miles west of Wrigley. Perhaps he had an application in his hand; I didn’t ask my friend.

      • Alex K - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:18 PM

        The one on Western? Was Soriano shopping at Babies R Us before or after?

    • wlschneider09 - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      Rizzo isn’t really a Gaby Sanchez type of player. Rizzo is big swing, bunches of K’s, good power, probably low average. Gaby is more of the Billy Butler type, with better contact rates and less power.

      Trumbo is probably a better comparison for Rizzo.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        .331 average with 30+ homers in 93 games, minor leagues or not…I think he has more power than Butler, a decent average, and may average about 25 homers a year. Sounds like Gaby to me.

        Of course, imagining Rizzo’s numbers now are very premature.

      • wlschneider09 - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        Rizzo definitely has more power than Butler, that’s the point. Gaby doesn’t really hit for power either.

        I have a hard time imagining Rizzo hitting for average. If you look at his minor league career beyond last year he’s a .296 hitter over 1400+ abs, so that’s probably his high end. But he strikes out so much I suspect he’ll have trouble hitting for average. He’s a power hitter, just look at his grip in the picture. Nothing wrong with that, but he’s no Sanchez, he’s more of a Trumbo.

      • drewsylvania - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:04 PM

        Rizzo walks a lot more than Trumbo. Trumbo plus 20-30 more walks per year is a pretty good 1B.

      • wlschneider09 - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:21 PM

        That’s true, maybe we’re looking at a young Adam Dunn. Without the speed.

  10. baseballisboring - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    So Theo drafts him, trades him to Jed, Theo and Jed go to a new organization and trade for him as soon as he’s available. I think it’s safe to say they like the guy.

  11. slyordie - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Damn, I hate this move as a Padres fan. Rizzo, IMO is going to be a great player in this league. They were too impatient with him.

    • baseballisboring - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      I think it’s probably more about the logjam at 1B than his MLB performance. I feel like they could’ve done better than Cashner, though.

  12. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    By the way, can we call him A-to-the-Rizzo?

    • baseballisboring - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:19 PM

      I really hope that catches on.

  13. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Maybe Duquette will trade for Rizzo, since he seems to get passed around to all of the former Red Sox front office people eventually.

  14. spartytime - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Holy cow is SD in a full fire-sale mode now or what? We gave up practically nothing for a 21 year old who had the prowess to be the next pujols…

    PS- hey royals do you wanna trade moustakas? lol

    Soto + castro+ rizzo+ vitters = best young IF in MLB

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      Vitters is far removed from a sure thing, though. For now, plug in the name Stewart.

    • rosloe62 - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:19 PM

      The 2012 Cubs…Young and Hungry! Prince Fielder…just hungry!

    • drewsylvania - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      Soto will be 29 in two weeks.

  15. buffalomafia - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    This move makes you wonder if Prince is really that good?

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      Prince is great. But Prince is an expensive Boras client and he would have made tens of millions of dollars on a Cub team that’s not going for the gold.

      Between LaHair and Rizzo, on a rebuilding team, Prince wasn’t a necessity.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:32 PM

        It would be malpractice for the Cubs to sign Fielder. I mean it. They’re going to be bad this year, with or without him. They’ll probably be bad next year, with or without him. (And this assumes he’s worth every penny, though free agents are never sure things.)

        If the Cubs make good decisions, they may be ready to compete in 2014. That’s the year for them to start signing expensive free agents. The Cubs have a terrible roster. Spending $40 million on Prince Fielder in 2012 and 13 would be a waste, even under the best-case scenarios.

  16. rosloe62 - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    I can’t see anyone giving him more than 5 years, plus Rizzo is going to be much cheaper to feed!

  17. jason1214 - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Thanks Padres,
    Sincerely Cub fans….

  18. buffalomafia - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    I don’t think Prince wants to play for Nats? Also he should get rid of Boras!

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:00 PM


  19. lanzurrah - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    As a Padre fan, sucks to see Rizzo moving on….but he’s really not a good fit at Petco….and he’s blocked at 1B by a guy who’s a much better fit. Hopefully, Rizzo can shorten that swing up in the major leagues. He had a really difficult time making any kind of adjustment and NL West pitchers picked him apart.

  20. metalhead65 - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    I do not understand why teams should be forced to pay fielder whatever he wants. if he wants 26 mil a year just because a team has the money does not mean they should have to hear him cry collusion because he only got offered 20 mil instead. if he does not like then try getting a real job or retire and live off the “paultry” salary the brewers paid him the last 5 years.

    • JBerardi - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:25 AM

      Good news! As it turns out, teams aren’t forced to give Price Fielder $26m a year. Isn’t that fantastic?

  21. firemarshal1 - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Please, please enough of this Theo crap. So far, I’m not impressed. Trading two good pitchers, for prospects that haven’t even materialize into major league starting players. The only way Theo will flourish is by picking up No-Brainer free agents $$$$$, like he did in Boston. Anybody with a half of a baseball brain can be a successful GM, if they have a huge spending budget for players. What does Cashman and Epstein have in common, two GM’s with unlimited support staff and player budgets. Like I said, anybody with descent baseball knowledge can be good. That why MLB will NEVER be the top sport in the United States of America. MLB = GOP House of Representatives,”The Rich and Powerful, the Bullies.” NFL and NHL = Middle Class American sports. The sports league, that allows all American and Canadian fans, a chance to win it all without all the corruption of greed and money. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates are excellent example of the tail of two different leagues. Would the Steelers organization survive in Major League Baseball? NOT!!!!

  22. firemarshal1 - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Look, President Clinton think so too.

  23. tn16 - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Prince is to big of a risk for 5+ years
    He is going to end up singing with the mats blue jays or mariners for 29 M for 5 years
    That right folks u heard it hear first.

    • Ari Collins - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:50 PM

      Years from now, we’ll all remember that tn16 was the first to predict the venues for Prince Fielder’s musical career.

  24. tn16 - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Nationals ***

  25. tn16 - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    He is going to sign with one of those three team for a 5 year deal 29M a year

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