1/6 Cubs deal Cashner to Padres for Rizzo

Maybe now people will believe the Cubs are not pursuing Prince Fielder. On Friday, the Cubs acquired first baseman Anthony Rizzo and right-handed pitcher Zach Cates from the Padres for right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner and outfielder Kyung-Min Na. Cashner is the second first-round pick the new Cubs front office has traded. They sent Tyler Colvin, the No. 1 pick in 2006, to the Rockies last month.

Rizzo, 22, batted .331 with 34 doubles, 26 home runs and 101 RBIs in 93 games for Triple-A Tucson last season. A left-handed hitter, he posted a .404 on-base percentage and a .652 slugging percentage, and his 1.056 OPS was second-best mark in the Pacific Coast League.

Rizzo was originally selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 Draft out of high school, and then Boston scouting director Jason McLeod said the first baseman had the best makeup of any player he’d been around. McLeod now is in the Cubs front office.

In 2008, he was limited to 21 Minor League games after being diagnosed with Limited Stage Classical Hodgkins Lymphoma in late April. He returned in ’09 to lead all Red Sox Minor Leaguers with a .368 on-base percentage and ranked third in the system with a .297 batting average between Class A Greenville and Class A Salem.

Jed Hoyer acquired Rizzo in San Diego in December 2010 as part of the five-player deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox.

Cates, 22, was selected by the Padres in the third round of the 2010 Draft and made his professional debut last season, going 4-10 with a 4.73 ERA in 25 starts for Class A Fort Wayne.

Cashner, 25, won a spot on the Cubs rotation in 2011 but had to be shutdown after one start because of a strained right rotator cuff. It wasn’t certain as to whether Cashner would compete for a spot in the rotation this season or be delegated to the bullpen.

Na, 20, combined to bat .268 with 10 doubles and 22 RBIs in 83 games between four different teams in the club’s Minor League system last year. The Seoul, South Korea native was originally signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on Aug. 12, 2009. 

— Carrie Muskat 


  1. joeydafish

    Oh well, so much for LaHair being the lefthanded first baseman. I guess he didn’t break enough records… This is the first move that I think is questionable as Cashner was what the Cubs need, young, good, promising controllable pitching and Rizzo was not an absolute must have considering LaHair did more than enough to earn the spot. It seems the affiliation with the Boston/Hoyer thing trumps all of LaHair’s success. Still, it’s not like LaHair was the next Pujols so at this point it really doesn’t matter what players take the field as long as they are NOT the hold over, under-acheiving Hendry guys. Benefit of the doubt still belongs to Epstein/Hoyer but it kind of reminds me of the OLD ways…not promoting from within enough. Arrrgghhhh! Well, BETWEEN Rizzo and LaHair we are at least well covered at 1B. And maybe if Soriano is dumped LaHair and his QUESTIONABLE OUTFIELD defense will patrol LF which would be better for the team than Soriano and his eroding “skills”.

  2. Shea

    The good news is, this is a lot better deal than when they were talking about trading Garza for Rizzo. I’m hoping this means they will use a LaHair at least for this year while they give Rizzo a little more seasoning in AAA. That way LaHair can get a real shot and we have a great and even younger prospect who hits for average and has room to gain even more power as he matures.

  3. Joe Schmol

    I think this is a great move. Getting a young promising 1bman, getting rid of a questionable arm And setting the stage for Soriano’s departure, will have ALL Cub fans cheering!!. I wish Cashner could have stayed, but I think we’re getting quality replacements for him. I like all the moves so far.

  4. joeydafish

    Two great points although I would bet Epstein/Hoyer will do all they can to have “their guy” Rizzo get the better shot at first base. Ironic especially coming from me that I would have preferred keeping Cashner and handing the job to LaHair…two guys acquired during Hendry’s regime!! Even a blind cat catches a mouse once in a while. At least Hendry did some good by giving Epstein some talent to use in trades. I like what Joe Schmol mentioned, setting the stage for Sorian’s departure! THAT will make ANY trade made by Epstein/Hoyer much more palatable and forgivable. Rizzo does seem to have an impressive history so I think this will turn out very good whether or not LaHair sticks with the team.

  5. BelgianCubbie

    from what I read on different sources, they will give LaHair at shot at 1B this year and see how well he does, and at the same time finetune Rizzo in AAA so he could take over at any time (preferably in 2013) if things don’t work out for Lahair

  6. Chad Chism

    Unbelieveable, Epstein is dumb, he’s making Hendry look alot better. First trading Marshall and now Cashner. And the Zambrano trade was pointless, we got nothing in return and the Cubs are paying Zambrano’s salary for next year!!! I brought out my Expos hat today to wear because I’m too upset at Epstein and his trades to wear my Cubs hat!!!

  7. SirGladiator

    This works out really well all the way around. We do give up a good reliever, like in the Marshall trade, but this time we get back a power hitter, albeit a backup since we already have LaHair. I imagine that Theo will put him in AAA for the 2 months necessary to get the extra year out of him, then bring him up to the big league team if he’s ready at that point. This is good news for all of us who like LaHair, he finally gets at least a 2 month chance, and if he proves himself he will obviously stay with the team for the long term, likely moving to LF once Rizzo is ready and we trade Soriano. Imagine a lineup that includes LaHair, Rizzo, and Stewart. Waveland Avenue will be covered in baseballs!

  8. joeydafish

    I like your way of thinking Sir, except Stewart may not be the power hitter he once was. All in all I am happy with the trades so far and especially the direction Epstein is taking our Cubs. Chad Hendry, that is about the funniest thing I’ve read on this blog in quite some time. The only thing that made Hendry look a lot better was his packed bags.

  9. Hustlelikereed

    Chad, I hope you enjoy your time in Montreal… just check where they are playing now before you buy you flights.

    Yes this trade isn’t ideal, but Cashner was at best a good reliever – he doesn’t have enough variation to be a starter or a great closer.

    Rizzo just may be the real deal.

    As for Theo, I’m giving him a chance – which is something we never had under the hapless Hendry.

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