Rizzo could be what Cubs looking for at 1B

December, 19, 2011
Levine By Bruce Levine
[+] EnlargeRizzo
Andy Hayt/Getty ImagesThe Cubs' front office is very familiar with power-hitting Anthony Rizzo.
The trade that sent San Diego Padres pitcher Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds for right-handed pitcher Edinson Volquez, first baseman Yonder Alonso, right handed pitcher Brad Boxberger and catcher Yasmani Grandal may have a ripple effect on what the Chicago Cubs do to try to fill their open first-base position.

The Padres have a logjam at first base with Alonso and 22-year-old Anthony Rizzo, who was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2007 amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox, when their drafts were run by Theo Epstein and Jason McLeod, who are now with the Cubs. Rizzo is now considered one of the top power hitting prospects in the game.

Epstein traded the young first baseman to Jed Hoyer, who was was the Padres GM last year and now is with the Cubs in the same role.

Rizzo was one of the players Epstein used to bring Adrian Gonzalez to Boston.

Of course, if the Cubs are indeed in the mix for Prince Fielder, this type of move will not take place.

Rizzo hit .331 with 26 home runs and 101 RBIs at Triple-A Tucson before hitting .141 in 128 at-bats with San Diego at the end of the season. He also struck out 46 times.

The Cubs still owe the Padres compensation for acquiring Hoyer. Any type of trade could solve that issue as well. The Padres are looking for young pitching and may inquire about Andrew Cashner or minor leaguer Trey McNutt.

The Rays are also said to be interested in Rizzo.

The reality of signing Fielder may be a stretch at this point. The Cubs may put in a bid, but it may not be for the amount of years he is looking for. Therefore, signing Rizzo fits more into the long-term game plan .

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.



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Starlin Castro
.292 14 65 58
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167