Results tagged ‘ Anthony Rizzo ’

Waiting on Jon Lester

The Cubs will have to wait a little longer for Jon Lester to make a decision regarding where he wants to pitch next year. According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Lester will meet with at least two more teams next week. The free agent pitcher already has talked to the Cubs, Red Sox, and Braves. The Cubs made their push on Tuesday when Lester visited Chicago.

The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo said he has not been contacted to help recruit any free agents, including Lester, who was the first baseman’s teammate briefly with the Red Sox.

“All these free agents have earned the right to be free agents and they deserve to visit all the teams that are interested and do what’s best for their families and themselves,” Rizzo said Friday in Chicago. “It really [comes down to] the best decision for them. The best sales pitch I can give is that we’re an exciting team and this is Chicago.”

Cubs execs Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer know all about sales pitches, especially at Thanksgiving time. In 2003, Epstein and Hoyer, then in the Red Sox front office, had Thanksgiving dinner with Curt Schilling, part of their effort to get the right-hander to drop the no-trade clause in his contract and accept being dealt to Boston.

“If we didn’t sign Curt, it probably would have been the worst Thanksgiving of my life,” Epstein said in 2003. “We tried to refuse [the invitation], and Curt said it was a deal breaker, they would be insulted if we didn’t go.”

Lester most likely will spend Thanksgiving at home.

– Carrie Muskat

Padres nearly done with roster construction

Few general managers have been as busy this offseason as Padres GM Josh Byrnes, who on Saturday pulled off his sixth trade of the winter when he traded for White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin.

With that trade, the Padres are already close to being a finished product — well before heading to Arizona for the start of Spring Training next month.

“We’re getting close,” Byrnes said on Tuesday.

The Padres could still add a late-inning reliever and have to decide if they’re going to hang onto first base prospect Anthony Rizzo or move him before Spring Training.

In their deal with the Reds last month and pitcher Mat Latos, the Padres acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso, who will get first crack at winning the first base job.

– Corey Brock

12/18 Could Rizzo be Cubs’ 1B of future?

Forget Prince Fielder. Maybe the Cubs’ first baseman of the future is Anthony Rizzo.

Rizzo was a sixth-round pick in 2007 by the Red Sox — and Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod were in Boston’s front office at that time. In December 2010, he was dealt to the Padres in the blockbuster Adrian Gonzalez deal. Now, Rizzo, 22, finds himself No. 3 or 4 on the Padres’ depth chart at first base after a major deal Saturday between the Padres and Reds. The Padres acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso, pitcher Edinson Volquez and Minor Leaguers Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger in exchange for pitcher Mat Latos. Latos joins Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake in the Reds rotation. Reds GM Walt Jocketty says they still plan on using Aroldis Chapman as a starter, although that could change.

This year, Rizzo batted .452 with six homers in his first 15 games and was eventually called up to the Padres in June, and batted .143 in 35 games. He was then recalled in September and finished with a .141 average in 49 games. At Triple-A Tucson, he hit .331 with 26 homers and 101 RBIs. Rizzo and Tony Campana have something in common, as Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in May 2008 and was successfully treated with chemotherapy. McLeod once said Rizzo has the best makeup of any player he’s ever drafted.

On Saturday, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio tweeted that the Padres have some interest in acquiring Matt Garza from the Cubs in a package that would include Rizzo. The problem with a Padres-Cubs deal involving Garza is that the right-hander is under team control for two more years, and if the Cubs were to move him, they’d expect a lot in return — similar to what the Reds gave up to get Latos. Epstein has said Garza is the type of pitcher to build around.

 — Carrie Muskat

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