There’s no question how impactful the Cubs trade for Anthony Rizzo was this offseason.
January 6, 2012: Cubs trade Kyung-Min Na (minors) & Andrew Cashner to Padres for Zach Cates (minors) & Anthony Rizzo.
With just 36 games under his belt, including this evening’s contest at San Diego, it’s evident Theo & Jed knew exactly what kind of super-talented player they were dealing for on January 6, 2012.
Rizzo hasn’t disappointed. In fact, all early indications show the 23-year-old is the long-term fix at first base and the three-hole; and that’s excluding his potential leadership qualities and ability to become the new face of the franchise.
Andrew Cashner, the prized return piece in the deal, is also a very talented player with Rizzo-like potential. But it’s looking more like the soon to be 26-year-old wouldn’t have been of the same value to the Cubs as Rizzo appears to be already.
Injuries, mainly, have held Cashner at bay since the trade. And while all teams are in need of power-arms, there’s something to be said for the Cubs gaining a solid position player to fill an everyday need on both sides of the diamond.
Historically the Cubs and Padres haven’t hooked up on many trades. Rizzo for Cashner is easily the headliner. But here’s a look at some of the other notable trades between the two organizations:
June 20, 2007: Cubs trade Michael Barrett & cash to Padres for Kyler Burke (minors) & Rob Bowen.
July 31, 2006: Cubs trade Todd Walker to Padres for Jose Ceda.
February 12, 1988: Padres trade Rich Gossage & Ray Hayward to Cubs for Mike Brumley & Keith Moreland.
April 25, 1969: Padres trade Dick Selma to Cubs for Frankie Libran, Joe Niekro & Gary Ross.
Last Monday the Cubs posted its most runs scored in a single game this season defeating the Pirates 14-4 at Wrigley Field.
It’s also the last time the Cubs won a game, and the lack of offense has largely been the deciding factor.
The Cubs have been outscored 38-16 during its seven-game losing streak. Twice they’ve been shutout, twice they’ve scored one single run, and had it not been for Adrian Cardenas, it’s highly likely AJ Burnett no-hits the Cubs last Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the highly touted Brett Jackson has done nothing but reinforce the worry he strikes out too often (he did so 33% of the time in Iowa) by punching out 8 times in 11 at-bats since his callup Sunday. Josh Vitters hasn’t been much better: 1-for-6 with a double and 2 RBI.
Castro and LaHair, as mentioned in yesterday’s post, continue to struggle going a combined 0-for-7 with one walk and one strikeout last night in San Diego. And Anthony Rizzo posted another no-hit night (0-for-4) dropping his average below .300 (.292).
The west coast road trip can’t end soon enough. The Cubs are (8-13) vs. NL West opponents this year, and all eight wins have come at home.
However, it doesn’t get any easier after today’s series finale at San Diego–the red hot Cincinnati Reds come to town for a four-game set.
Maybe a little home cookin’ is just what the Cubs need to get back on track at the plate?
It recently struck me many of my long-time favorite Cubs are no longer Cubs.
Aramis Ramirez, Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster: all gone. Reed Johnson: gone. Carlos Pena, albeit his short stay: gone. Heck, even Sweet Lou: gone.
I’ve grown to like Alfonso Soriano a little more each season, but he’s never been one of my favorites. And there’s not much else to choose from as far as tenure is concerned.
SO WHO IS MY FAVORITE CUBS PLAYER?
David DeJesus is a strong candidate. He’s always been a player who caught my eye, even before joining Chicago this offseason. I appreciate his game, his hustle, his professionalism, but chances are he’s gone by next July’s trade deadline or following the season.
The same can be said for Matt Garza.
Starlin Castro has been a lightning rod among Cubs fans–some want him traded, others want to him stay. I tend to side with the ‘keepers’ and think the Cubs should build around him.
Sure, I like Castro enough, think he’s a legit ballplayer, but not sure he’s a favorite just yet. He at least needs to clean up the mental errors for a start. (Who doesn’t hate mental errors?)
Bryan LaHair was a suitor until, well, he stopped hitting. Carlos Marmol? Dude just drives me insane.
It seems I’ll need to spend the latter half of the season determining who’s my next favorite Cubs player.
Who’s going to be the guy I can count on, the guy who sticks around long enough to see the rebuild through, and help lead our beloved Cubs back to glory?
Of course Anthony Rizzo is a clear favorite. Maybe Travis Wood, too. I’ve always had a soft spot for crafty lefties (I miss you Ted Lilly). Or is it time I switch to a power-throwing right-arm the likes of Jeff Samardzija?
What about Dale Sveum?
Maybe it’s a Brett Jackson or Josh Vitters who catches my eye? Perhaps Jorge Solar steals my heart? I have no idea.