Wasting no time as both teams look to hit the reset button, the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees have had initial conversations around a Juan Soto trade. But of particular interest in the SNY report is the mention of former Cubs first baseman and three-time All-Star Anthony Rizzo.
"One rival official unaffiliated with the Yankees and Padres also wondered if the Yankees could include a veteran like first baseman Anthony Rizzo in a Soto deal, because the Padres are not rebuilding. Rizzo has a year remaining on his contact, then a club option for 2025. He has a limited no-trade clause; the teams are not known."- Andy Martino, SNY
Rizzo, who spent from 2012-2021 with the Cubs, started his big league career in San Diego, where he struggled in his first taste of big league action. In 153 plate appearances back in 2011, he mustered a lowly .141/.281/.242 slash line for the Padres before coming to Chicago in the Andrew Cashner trade the following offseason.
Does Anthony Rizzo make the Padres a contender in 2024? Probably not.
The rest, as we all know, is history. Rizzo went on to become the face of the franchise, racking up individual accolades and honors while leading the Cubs to their first World Series championship in 108 years. He was the team's most recognizable superstar, at least in terms of synonimty with the organization, since Sammy Sosa in the late 90s - and was a fixture in the community.
His time with the Yankees has been largely productive, if unspectacular, with a concussion derailing his 2023 campaign. Personally, it's hard to envision Rizzo being the difference-maker in San Diego given the star power already on that roster and the team might be better served focusing on young, controllable talent, but with Xander Bogaerts and Manny Machado on long-term deals, ownership isn't going to fold in the short-term.
Consider this an appetizer ahead of hot stove season, folks. Those guys from 2016 will always hold a special place in our hearts, so when we see even passing mention of one, it's worth hashing out - even in a hypothetical sense.