The Rizzo trade stings because he was the perceived savior of the franchise. Surely, we believed, this kid with the long swing and towering home run shots will cure our offensive issues and play an awesome corner position. Unfortunately, due to some hand injuries and youth, Anthony Rizzo failed to produce to the extent we wanted/needed.
This situation reminds me of Chase Headley and his assent into the major leagues. Here was a kid with great potential, and (I hate this phrase) "flashes of greatness" who, when called upon to make a last place team into an overnight success-came up a little short-and put it in the warning track. Chase is now a slightly below average third baseman but getting better. His home/road splits are the key issue, at home he kind of stinks, on the road he is a monster. Check out #17 here. But Chase was homegrown, he was our guy, we'd put up with some underachievement because we drafted him and he killed it in San Antonio. Chase was our cat. Sure he peed on the bath mat, and brought half dead birds into the house and gnawed on the laptop charger but that's just Chase he's a scallywag and we love him. Rizzo, on the other hand, is the product of another system. We would never have the love for him that we should because of that. Like when you get a new roommate and they have a cat. You never really love that cat. You might pet it from time to time, or feed it when your roommate is out of town, but it's not your cat. It's your step cat-and like all step cats, they chew up your furniture, stink up your closet, shed all over the place, and eventually leave. I digress.
Rizzo is going to break our hearts. He is going to destroy the NL Central. He is going to play half his games in a hitters park, make regular trips to the "tee-ball" stadium Cincinnati, and get to bat against the less than stellar arms in Houston. Chicago will have to re-pave the streets of Wrigleyville after every home stand due to the frequent bombs he will drop on the corner of Waveland and Kenmore. He is going to rake. But he would never be that good here. The parks of the NL west would kill him, Petco the worst offender. The superior pitching in the NL West would numb his bat, and eventually he would become another Chase Headley. Good not great, talented not brilliant. I'm not sure we want any underachieving player on the roster in the future, especially a step cat.
So-we got a replacement for Mike Adams and a guy with a funny name, Kyung-Min Na. That's cool with me, Cashner might be in the starting rotation soon and if having Kyung-Min Na on the team means Korean tacos at the ballpark who am I to complain.
Sure this trade is good for the Cubs, but it's good for the Padres too. The move shores up the back end of the bull pen for now and helps with the logjam at first. But it's mainly good for Rizzo. He gets to play for the guys that drafted him and he gets to live up to his potential. So when he coughs up a hairball, at the plate one day, or tears down the blinds at first base-Theo and Jed won't mind because he's their cat, and he's a scallywag and they love him.