12/18 Could Rizzo be 1B of future?

Forget Prince Fielder. Maybe the Cubs’ first baseman of the future is Anthony Rizzo.

Rizzo was a sixth-round pick in 2007 by the Red Sox — and Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod were in Boston’s front office at that time. In December 2010, he was dealt to the Padres in the blockbuster Adrian Gonzalez deal. Now, Rizzo, 22, finds himself No. 3 or 4 on the Padres’ depth chart at first base after a major deal Saturday between the Padres and Reds. The Padres acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso, pitcher Edinson Volquez and Minor Leaguers Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger in exchange for pitcher Mat Latos. Latos joins Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake in the Reds rotation. Reds GM Walt Jocketty says they still plan on using Aroldis Chapman as a starter, although that could change.

This year, Rizzo batted .452 with six homers in his first 15 games and was eventually called up to the Padres in June, and batted .143 in 35 games. He was then recalled in September and finished with a .141 average in 49 games. At Triple-A Tucson, he hit .331 with 26 homers and 101 RBIs. Rizzo and Tony Campana have something in common, as Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in May 2008 and was successfully treated with chemotherapy. McLeod once said Rizzo has the best makeup of any player he’s ever drafted.

On Saturday, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio tweeted that the Padres have some interest in acquiring Matt Garza from the Cubs in a package that would include Rizzo. The problem with a Padres-Cubs deal involving Garza is that the right-hander is under team control for two more years, and if the Cubs were to move him, they’d expect a lot in return — similar to what the Reds gave up to get Latos. Epstein has said Garza is the type of pitcher to build around.

Or, the Cubs could give Bryan LaHair the first base job. LaHair hit a two-run homer, his 10th, in Magallanes’ 8-0 win over Caribes on Saturday in Venezuelan Winter League play.

– Carrie Muskat

9 Comments

I have no problem with giving LaHair a shot at firstbase, I do have a problem giving up our best starter. We have have more pressing issue’s like is it me or doesn’t anybody else see or think that Carlos Marmol has the worse foot work: his plant foot is all over the place which makes his pitch finish all over the place. My other issue is Soriano. As a person I like the guy, and I’ve never been in the locker room so I can’t say what his like in there, but I can atest to what I see on the field. He is a steaky hitter at best, and my issue with him is his attiutude at going about playing defense and even the way he runs the bases. He can affect a young team and that’s not good. I realize we owe the guy a lot of money but I feel we would be a better team with out him, I would rather have no stars on the team and play as a team like the world champion Giants did than have a high priced player who drags the rest of the team down.

LaHair has only hit over 50 professional HR’s this year (AAA/Cubs/Venezuela) yet he’s apparently not good enough for the Cubs to keep and give a chance to play next year? What genius would even consider trading Garza for a minor league 1B?

“Give” LaHair the job? One would think he already earned it. He can play 1B and we keep Garza. Sounds like a no brainer. If LaHair fails then the Wonder Boys can do their thing. But it sounds like the young, good hitting first first baseman they may be trying to acquire…is already on the roster. NOW, Fielder? Different story as he is a PROVEN power bat and not a minor leauger three back on the Padres depth chart.

I hope the organization gives Lahair Xmas day off at least before SPRING TRAINING. Isn*t 50 homeruns in one year enough?

LaHair is two years older than Prince Fielder. Whatever he is its not young or a promising prospect.

Get some perspective, please.

Prince is a slugger but he is one ankle or knee injury away from the American League. Lower extremities are not meant to carry 300 lbs. too long. Guessing he all ready has 2 plus ankle edema at the end of a long game.

Pingback: Lukewarm Stove: Garza, Rizzo, Marmol, Zambrano, Maholm, Soriano, Grabow | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

Perspective? LaHair is certainly YOUNG ENOUGH to play first base, and what is NOT promising about the previous year he had? Maybe the “old man” bloomed late…still in his twenties. He’s young. Would I rather have Fielder? Sure. But there is no reason to purposely get Fielder because lack of options. LaHair for two years at 1B, if he isn’t performing….Votto will then be a free agent and about 100 lbs. lighter which may add to his longevity, running the bases etc. as he ages. Ty, good one…Merry Christmas!

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