Chicago Cubs: Trades that went our way

6 of 6

Sep 15, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman

Anthony Rizzo

celebrates after hitting a walk-off solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Cubs trade Andrew Cashner and minor leaguer Kyung-Min Na to the San Diego Padres for Anthony Rizzo and minor leaguer Zach Cates

Well, this one some may say is too soon to say this is a Cubs win.  So far, I’m sure you’d at least agree it is a win for the Chicago Cubs. While Rizzo has turned himself into one of the best first baseman in the National League, an all-star, and now the leader of one of the most talked about up-and-coming teams; Cashner has been unable to stay healthy.  Cashner has shown signs of being a quality pitcher with the Padres, having three complete game shutouts in the last two seasons combined with a very good 3.06 earned run average.

Sep 15, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Andrew Cashner (34) pitches during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Not much can be added with this trade analysis with Kyung-Min Na and Zach Cates.  Kyung-Min Na was released by the Padres in 2013.  Cates has stayed in the lower minor league levels with the talk that he will probably be no more than an arm out of the bullpen.  I guess you could say right now, the Cubs have the slight edge on that part.

In the short view that we’ve had, it’s clear Rizzo is the better player.  He is a corner-stone of the Cubs rebuilding plan.  Having a young, powerful first baseman that you can say is locked up to your team for many years and has only gotten better each year, you’ll take that any day. Rizzo has taken on the leadership role of this young team.  He has improved in all aspects of his game.

Being a pull-hitter, the shifts were forcing him to either hit the ball out of the park or change his swing.  Rizzo decided to take what the defense was giving him and started bunting and slapping the ball down the third base line. Rizzo has now forced the defenses to play him honest.

While Cashner may very well get himself healthy and be able to play consistently, I have a hard time seeing him ever being more than a number three, maybe a two pitcher in their rotation. Not that there is anything wrong with that either, but all-star first basemen who are as young as Rizzo who is only getting better, those are the players you build a championship franchise around.  The Cubs have been doing just that.