My Rizzo Trade Take


Well, I figure it’s time I toss my 0.0129659643 British pounds into the mix concerning San Diego’s trade of Anthony Rizzo and Zach Cates to Chicago for Andrew Cashner and Kyung-Min Na.

I’ve had some time to think this over, and I’ve read lots of takes on the trade…most of which seem to be negative for San Diego. I’ve also seen articles that are asking fans to think things through, first. Justin Hunter’s piece on this very site is an excellent example of what I’m talking about.

For me, though, my view of the move is the same as it was when it came down. Which is to say, I don’t like it. My displeasure has been somewhat tempered, though, as I’ve researched around, but I still feel Chicago will wind up with the better end of the deal.

What makes this so intriguing (and by intriguing I mean infuriating) to discuss is that neither guy has a proven MLB track record. So, really, we’re all just speculating anyway, and it’s a matter of who thinks their assumption is best. And we all know what happens when we start to ass-u-me things to be true.

That being said, I’m not a fan because I feel Rizzo will ultimately contribute more than Cashner. There…I said it. My prediction. Now go discuss.

Ultimately, though, what is more concerning to me is the direction Byrnes is taking with these trades. Again, I’m not privy to insider information, and I’m not pretending to be smarter than the guys and gals who actually get paid to work in that front office. I am, however, interested in keeping my team accountable. In particular, a small market team like ours.

What has me concerned about this move is the continued stockpiling of bullpen arms. I really don’t understand why we have sent off several players only to bring back pitching in return. I know the old adage about never having enough pitching, but I think we can pretty much say our system is stocked in this department. What seems to be on back order is offensive punch.

Granted, the Carlos Quentin trade was certainly a big move that was made to address this shortcoming, and the Yonder Alonso acquisitions may help offensively as well. But I’m not sure why we’ve stopped there. You’re honestly telling me that there’s no middle infield help out there? I can think of one player in particular that I’ll hit upon another day.

It seems to me that an effective approach that has been confirmed by the Padres front office would be to acquire hitters through trades and pitchers through free agency. That makes so much sense. Now, if San Diego has an immediate plan to alter the fences, resulting in a more equal field for hitters and pitchers, then this whole point becomes moot. Of course, maybe Byrnes and Co. think offensive help is terribly close. I’m not sure that can be argued, although 2013 might start to see the fruits of those labors.

The last thing I’ll say is this. Why was there so much urgency to deal Rizzo now? What information do the Padres have to choose Alonso over Rizzo so clearly without even a competition? Their track records are similar enough to at least have the two battle it out in Spring Training. Then, if Rizzo loses, send him to rake in AAA until a team in more desperate need comes calling with even more value? I know…he could get hurt, he could tank (not likely in the PCL), etc.

But there are always “what ifs” in baseball. It’s always a gamble. I guess I just saw this hand being played a little more cautiously. It’s like we’ve gone all in with our straight, but the possibility of a flush is still out there.