Prince out of NL Central for sure?
Ooohh…an interesting trade went down this afternoon involving one of the Reds NL Central rivals.
The Cubs traded RHP Andrew Cashner and OF Kyung-Min Na to the Padres for young 1B prospect Anthony Rizzo and RHP Zach Cates.
Rizzo became expendable in San Diego after the Padres got Yonder Alonso in the Mat Latos trade. New Cubs boss Theo Epstein developed Rizzo in Boston and new Cubs GM Jed Hoyer traded for Rizzo this time last year when Boston acquired Adrian Gonzalez. Adding Rizzo clearly continues the Epstein/Hoyer plan of building for the long haul in Chicago.
What it most importantly means is that you can likely count out the Cubs for a pursuit of free agent 1B Prince Fielder. Chicago was seen as a viable option for Fielder ever since he declared his intentions to hit the open market and head out of Milwaukee.
Unless the Brewers pull off a shocker, it’s likely that Fielder will join Albert Pujols in an exodus from the NL Central, which can only be of help to the Reds.
The Nationals have been pursuing Fielder, so he may not be out of the NL altogether. But the AL’s Mariners and Rangers have been rumored contenders for the big man’s services.
In 102 games vs. the Reds since 2005, Fielder batted .276/.388/.518 with 22 home runs and 66 RBIs. It’s not exactly Pujolsian (is that a word yet?), but it doesn’t hurt Cincinnati’s feelings that he won’t play them 15-18 times a year anymore.