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