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Anthony Rizzo on Cubs Radar? – Wrigley Field 12/19/11

Posted on 19 December 2011 by Lou

Gotta give props to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com.  I love this story and it’s just what I’m looking for from a “Cubs insider”.  Sure I’d love for Tom Ricketts to throw a ton of money at Prince Fielder.  I think it is much more prudent than throwing that money at Albert Pujols who is 4 years older.  It still has its risks – signing anyone to an 8-10 year contract has risks – but it would probably work out pretty damn well for the Cubs in the long run.  But let’s say the Cubs “low-ball” Fielder and his agent Scott Boras and the duo decide to run to Seattle or L.A. for the bigger/longer contracts.  What should the Cubs do then.

Levine threw this little nugget out there today on his blog.  Anthony Rizzo of the San Diego Padres – one of the top power-hitting prospects in baseball today.  He plays 1st base, he’s a lefty and he’s only 22 years old.  In 2010, Rizzo hit .331 with 26 dingers and 101 RBI’s at Triple-A Tucson.  Not bad.  He logged 128 at-bats at the major league level for the Padres at the end of the season, but struggled – .141 batting average with 46 K’s.  Not good.  Sure the Cubs would have to give up some young talent to get him – maybe an Andrew Cashner or Trey McNutt, but it might be worth it.

Here’s the intriguing part of Rizzo.  Theo Epstein drafted Rizzo in the 6th round of the 2007 draft when Epstein was the Red Sox GM.  Epstein used Rizzo as a major piece for luring current Padres GM Jed Hoyer (the former Red Sox Assistant GM and now the current Cubs GM) to trade established slugger Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox during the 2009-2010 off-season.  So both Epstein and Hoyer have intimate knowledge of Rizzo’s talents and now that the Padres traded for 1st baseman Yonder Alonso from the Cincinnati Reds in the Matt Latos deal, the Padres have a log jam at 1st base with both Alonso and Rizzo in the mix.  That doesn’t mean that the Padres will want to move either player, but it is an interesting developing situation.  It’s definitely something we should keep our eyes on IF the Cubs don’t ink Fielder…

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