With the San Diego Padres adding first baseman Yonder Alonso in yesterday’s trade that sent Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds, many began to speculate that Padres first base prospect Anthony Rizzo would become a trade chip. It didn’t take long for the rumors to swirl, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that the Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays are interested in Rizzo.
Rizzo is the 22-year-old first baseman that was one of the centerpieces of the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox last offseason. Originally viewed as the Padres first baseman of the future, Rizzo may now be expandable due to San Diego’s acquisition of Alonso.
There is a chance that Rizzo and Alonso could coexist in the same lineup, but it would require one of them moving from first base. However, Rizzo has only known first base, and analysts agree that Alonso’s value would be lessened if he were to play elsewhere.
As a result, Rizzo has become a possible trade chip for the Padres. If he does truly become available, Rizzo would be highly coveted.
Last season with the Padres Triple-A affiliate, Rizzo hit at a clip of .331/.404/.652 with 34 doubles, 26 home runs and 101 RBI’s over his 93 games. This earned Rizzo a cup of coffee at the major league level, where he struggled to the tune of a .523 OPS over his 153 plate appearances.
Still, Rizzo is only 22 and has a career minor league line of .296/.366/.514.
Heyman reported that the Cubs and Rays have already shown interest in the young first baseman. Tampa has a plethora of young, available arms that should interest the Padres, and the Cubs front office has all kinds of ties to Rizzo.
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