San Diego Padres: Was Trading Anthony Rizzo a Mistake?

Bill Ford@billfordwritesCorrespondent IIIJanuary 24, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 28:  Anthony Rizzo #27 of the San Diego Padres hits a double during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Petco Park on June 28, 2011 in San Diego, California.  The Padres won 4-2. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images

First baseman Anthony Rizzo has bounced around a bit over the last couple of years.

After playing well for the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, he was traded to the San Diego Padres, and now to the Chicago Cubs.

In a trade deal for Adrian Gonzalez last year, Theo Epstein made the decision to trade Rizzo, a top prospect first baseman, to seal the deal.

While with Boston, Theo Epstein and Rizzo seemed to have a good relationship. Both now with the Chicago Cubs, they are reunited and will create some success.

The Padres made a trade that will boost their chances of having a stellar season in 2012.

Starting pitcher Mat Latos was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for first baseman Yonder Alonso, catching prospect Yasmani Grandal, pitching prospect Brad Roxberger and pitcher Edinson Volquez. 

Rizzo is an excellent first baseman. But, with the trade for Yonder Alonso, the need for Rizzo at first base in San Diego didn’t seem to exist any more.

While playing for the Triple-A Tuscon Padres, Rizzo hit .365 with 16 home runs and 63 RBI in 200 at-bats in just 52 games.

He was called up to the Padres on June 9, 2011, and hit his first home run on June 11.

He struggled a bit after that and was demoted back to Triple-A, where he finished the minor league season.

He was called up again on Sept. 4 and continued to struggle with a batting average of .141, nine RBI and one home run.

Once thought to be the starting first baseman for the 2012 season, he lost that position to newly acquired Yonder Alonso.

The Cubs acquired Rizzo on Jan. 6, 2012. While I usually believe that teams should hold on to their top prospects, like Rizzo, in this case I think that it was the best move.

Rizzo needs time to develop in the MLB, and the only way to do that is by gaining experience through playing time.

He would not have played much for San Diego in 2012, and he would probably have been demoted again to Triple-A.

Playing for the Cubs will enable Rizzo to gain that experience with the opportunity of more time on the field and at bat.

Rizzo, at the age of 22, will provide quality and longevity for the Cubs, who will make a great long-term home for Rizzo.

In the end, the Padres made a good move and will probably have a successful season with their newly-acquired talent.

Everyone benefits.


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