Sunday, December 18, 2011

Anthony's first base rumor

As I continue to get things back up and running here I'll keep up with the latest in Cubs rumors...

Last night the rumor started that the Cubs and Padres were in discussions for a trade involving Matt Garza.

In return for Garza, the Cubs would get what many people say is the Padres #1 prospect, Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo, in all his glory.
Rizzo is a first baseman who has shown a good deal of power and plate discipline in the minor leagues. He is said to be a good fielder and particularly good at picking balls out of the dirt.

Rizzo is only 22 years old, and spent last season between AAA and the big leagues. The Padres acquired Rizzo in the Adrian Gonzalez trade last off-season.

So if you put 2 and 2 together, you'll realize the Rizzo was drafted by none other than Theo Epstein.

At first glance, you'd have to wonder why the Padres would be willing to give up their top prospect. Well, you have to look no deeper than the trade that the Reds and Padres made late last week.

The Padres traded Mat Latos, their top pitcher, to the Reds for a number of players. At interest to us, though, is one player in particular, Yonder Alonso. Alonso is a first baseman. In his time playing on the Reds last season, he played pretty well. The Reds really had no problem letting Alonso go, though, as he was blocked at first base by Joey Votto.

With Alonso on the Padres now, it blocks Rizzo unless Alonso were to move to the outfield. So basically, because of Joey Votto, Anthony Rizzo may be available to the Cubs.

For the Padres, they are now without their best pitcher and Matt Garza would replace Latos nicely.

So how probable is this trade? Well, there are some big questions that would need to be answered. Overall, Matt Garza replacing Mat Latos is a bit of a head scratcher. Latos was still under team control for 4 more years. Garza only 2. That means that the Padres will need to make room for Garza's additional salary. As a a result, the Cubs might have to take Orlando Hudson in the deal as well.

At the same time, the Cubs are probably going to have to give up at least another prospect in the deal. It's hard to say who that might be, but expect one of the Cubs more highly regarded minor leaguers to be involved in the deal if it were to happen.

Once that were to happen, you have to figure that the Cubs would redirect their attention to starting pitching as spring training approaches.