Friday, January 6, 2012

The hits keep coming: Cubs acquire Anthony Rizzo

It is one good trade after another so far for Theo and Jed as the Cubs trade for highly regarded 1B prospect Anthony Rizzo and pitcher Zach Cates (who?) from the Padres for former first round pick Andrew Cashner and outfielder Kyung-Min Na. 25-year-old Cashner is a flame thrower and will be missed--but only if he can manage to stay healthy. Shoulder surgery derailed his 2011 season and his rehab was littered with setbacks.

My first reaction to this trade is wow, how did the Cubs just acquire Anthony Rizzo for only Andrew Cashner?

Heading into the 2011 season Cashner and Rizzo were pretty equally regarded, Cashner having made his Major League debut in 2010 as Baseball America's #95 overall prospect. Rizzo entered the 2011 season as BA's #75 overall prospect and also made it to majors, but was demoted after a horrendous showing of .141/.281/.242 in 153 AB. While this is obviously terrible, it is a small sample size for a 21-year-old in his first big league exposure. Rizzo went on to tear up triple-A to the tune of .331/.404/.652 and his stock looked to be sky high heading into 2012.

While Andrew Cashner has star potential, clearly so does Rizzo who was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston a year ago. With Cashner's injury and Rizzo's dominance at triple-A this looks like a small price to pay for Theo and Jed as they continue to rebuild the Cubs with one solid trade after another. The previous trades leading up to this all look to be wins for Chicago, but this trade is the huge steal in my opinion.

The pieces are falling into place, slowly but surely, as the Cubs inch closer to respectability.

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