The Chicago Cubs made another big move today acquiring Anthony Rizzo and Zach Cates for Andrew Cashner and Kyung-Min Na. I will look at what the Cubs gave up, what the Cubs are getting, and what I think about the trade.
First let’s take a look at what the Cubs gave up. Andrew Cashner is no doubt going to be a top pitcher either in the rotation or out of the pen if he can stay healthy. At only 25 years old and a fastball that sits in mid 90’s he looks really good. The one big thing wrong with Cashner is he is a young power pitcher who relies on throwing his pitches hard which would not be an issue if he had flawless mechanics which has been problem. Earlier this year it was discussed that his form caused his issues with his rotator cuff that landed him on the DL. This is something that has to be fixed so he can stay healthy but one thing we have learned from the Cubs is that altering mechanics can be a big issue and cause you to be less effective. But there is no doubts the Padres are getting a good; possibly great, pitcher in Casher. The Cubs also gave up outfielder Kyng-Min Na (more info here) who is also a prospect in the Cubs system but is expendable because of the amount of OF minor leaguers in the Cubs system.
The only thing the Cubs got is a 22 year old first baseman (Anthony Rizzo info HERE) who hits from the left side and hit .331 with a .404 OBP 26 homers 101 RBI and 7 SB in 413 PA last season; THAT’S ALL! Rizzo is now the Cubs future first baseman for at least the next decade you would think. Rizzo was drafted under Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod so the interest was definitely there and why Rizzo cost the Cubs Cashner and Na. The Cubs also got a 22 year old right-handed pitcher named Zach Cates (more info found here). Cates was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft so there is obvious interest from McLeod and Hoyer to reacquire him. In Cates first year in the minors he started 25 games, had a 4.73 ERA, with 111 Ks in 118 IP. While his numbers are not bad they are not good either but being 22 years old he has a ton of time to develop in the Cubs system.
Now looking at the trade I see this as a huge win for the Cubs and the Padres. This is another case where both teams are benefiting and taking a “gamble” (and I use that loosely) on younger players. The Padres have been working hard to acquire young pitching and the Cubs have been looking for their first baseman of the future which both helped out each other with their needs. I love this trade and applaud the Cubs brass for making it!
Now taking that into consideration here are some news and notes addressing the aftermath of the trade (plus other rumors and notes)-
-According to Carrie Muskat Hoyer says Bryan LaHair will be the starter at 1st next season and Rizzo will start the season in AAA.
-Jed Hoyer says the Cubs are willing to go through some growing pains with young players. I really like that idea.
-Because of this trade and the news following the Cubs maybe looking for a backup at first. They have been linked to Derrek Lee, Jorge Cantu, and Connor Jackson.
-Twitter blew up with the rumor of Soriano going to Baltimore for Brian Roberts being discussed. This trade makes sense for both teams but it is not a Theo type move. I think Theo would rather get a young player and pay almost Soriano’s entire contract than pay half his contract and acquire a guy like Roberts. At least that is what I see.
-The Cashner/Rizzo trade signifies the end to the Prince Fielder talk (thank God) and now the talks will heat up involving Marmol, Garza, Byrd, and Dempster.
-According to reports the Cubs and Kerry Wood are nearing completion on a one-year deal.
-The Red Sox and Cubs have been talking about a Marlon Byrd trade which makes a ton of sense for both teams. The Cubs will look for a low level minor leaguer and salary relief.
-The Cubs are still very interested in Paul Maholm.
-The Cubs have interest in Omar Vizquel and Jack Wilson according to sources.
-The Cubs signed Edgar Gonzalez and Joe Mather to minor league deals.
Until Next Time…