It was just announced that Anthony Rizzo, the recently displaced (by Yonder Alonso) Padres first baseman, has been acquired by the Cubs for RHP Andrew Cashner, and outfielder Kyung-Min Na. Josh Byrnes, the Padres GM was quoted as saying, “The acquisition of Yonder Alonso provided us the flexibility to make this trade and acquire a quality, young power arm in Andrew Cashner,” and “We are happy to add a pitcher with the pedigree of Cashner and an outfielder with the athleticism of Na,” with reference to the trade. Cashner was 2-7 with a 4.29 ERA over his two years of service with the Cubs. Kyung-Min Na has spent the last two seasons in the Cubs farm system.
It could be speculated that the Rays may have wanted more than the Padres were willing to give for a pitcher like Wade Davis, or Jeff Niemann. This trade marks another young first basemen, that fits the Rays specs, that has been taken off the market. No mentions of a Mark Trumbo or Carlos Pena deal have been made today, nor have we heard anything about the Rays re-signing Casey Kotchman.
This just in: Rays principal owner, Stu Sternberg, and St. Petersburg mayor, Bill Foster, are finally scheduled to meet on January 17th. And you thought the Mayan calendar was supposed to end 11months from now?!
What will be discussed is unknown. I wouldn’t be surprised if the agenda stays on the down-low though, at least for the time being. Presumably, lots of petulant whining from both sides will be audible, and talk surrounding the Rays future in the Trop is expected. More on this as the news becomes available. Until then, I’ll be working on my armageddon bunker.
Another very worthwhile read from Marc Topkin was published in the Times, today. Could this be, at least architecturally, what the Rays are looking for? You can read that piece here: Marlins Stadium: A Model For the Rays – At Least Architecturally I still stand by my assertion, that a retractable roof facility, like that in Milwaukee, would suit the Rays perfectly. But I digress…
It’s been mentioned on a few occasions now, that the Rays will be raising their payroll from $42 MM, to somewhere in the range of $50-$55 MM, at least for the next couple of seasons. Interestingly enough, in a tweet from DRaysbay Andrew Friedman has suggested that the Rays “do not work on a hard and fast payroll number. Flexibility to spend future dollars on today’s’ payroll”. I like the cut of his jib! Also worth mentioning, the Rays are in talks with Kotchman regarding his future at 1B with the Rays. Friedman noted that there is “little chance of Zobrist (moving) to 1B.”