Anthony Rizzo has been a core member of the Chicago Cubs, stretching back to their 100-loss and 90-loss seasons in the early 2010s. He was arguably the piece the Cubs started their rebuild around. A rebuild that ended with the first World Series championship in 108 years.
Now, the Cubs are sellers at the MLB trade deadline again. Many teams could use a veteran left-handed bat in their lineup, with the prospect of Rizzo’s walk rate only increasing interest in him. If the Cubs do let go of Rizzo, here are some potential landing spots for him.
Boston Red Sox
Rizzo was drafted by the Red Sox in 2007. After surviving a cancer scare, he met Jon Lester (then a member of the Red Sox), who survived something similar. The two would reunite in Chicago, bringing home a World Series together. That anecdote has nothing to do with his trade potential, other than to say he may enjoy going back to the team that drafted him.
The Red Sox’s production at first has not been ideal. Especially when compared to the rest of the team. Franchy Cordero is hitting .196, Bobby Dalbec has .219 and Michael Chavis’ average sits at just .208. Meanwhile, they have three players who can play first sitting on the IL at time of writing.
Rizzo could immediately improve production at the first base spot and he is a very healthy player. His walks and home run potential make him very attractive to Boston, but his OPS is not all he offers. His defense is well above average, too. The only issue is, since the Red Sox could very well win the World Series this year, so the asking price for prospects is going to be very high for this team in particular. Fans will demand they go for it and the Cubs could reap the benefits of taking advantage of their right-here-right-now mindset.
Rowdy Tellez and Jace Peterson have been the bright spots at first base for the Brewers. They both also bat left-handed. But there can never be enough left-handed sluggers on a roster.
The team clearly needs a veteran bat to shore up their hold on the NL Central. They may want to look elsewhere, though. Chicago trading one of the most beloved players in Cubs history to a division rival would not be a good look, regardless of the haul they would receive in return.
That being said, apart from the Red Sox, the Brewers have been one of the only teams in constant conversation for Rizzo. Most teams need him, almost every team would like him, but not every team can afford him. The Brewers could.
If any Cubs star is the least likely to get traded, it is Anthony Rizzo.
As stated above, Rizzo was with the team when they were abysmal. He was one of the first pieces acquired by Theo Epstein, who rebuilt the franchise from scorched earth all the way up to Commissioner’s Trophy. His childlike love for the game and multitude of memorable moments have engrained him in Cubs’ fans hearts moreso than any other star.
Bryant has seemed to want a big pay day for a while, Baez is a wizard, but the strikeouts grate on North Siders’ nerves and Kimbrel has not been a Cub for too long. Rizzo is the heart and soul of this franchise and however much he would understand another rebuild, because he was the start of the last one, the fans need familiar faces to hold on to. Sentiment does not win the World Series, but with Anthony Rizzo it feels different. He may just stay right where he is.
Featured Image courtesy of Getty Images
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