Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod have been Anthony Rizzo's biggest fans since before Rizzo became a professional baseball player. After Friday, the Chicago Cubs executives and their long-time protege will be reunited for the long haul.
A trade in December brought Yonder Alonso to the San Diego Padres, making Rizzo an expendable commodity for that organization. He's a top-shelf power hitter from the left side of the plate and has plus potential with the glove at first base. Yet, he was ill-suited to PETCO Park and its cavernous right field. Rizzo should get a big boost from the cozy dimensions from right-center field around to left-center in Wrigley Field.
It's part of a singularly busy winter for the Cubs, under new management and headed in an utterly new direction. Here is a recap of their major moves thus far and a look at what may be still to come before Spring Training.