CHICAGO, Ill. (WGN) — He was the first major player added to a new Cubs’ core that Theo Epstein started building when he took over the Cubs in October of 2011.
Now as the team heads in a different direction in 2021, he’s the first major player to be traded out of town.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo, who has been arguably the team leader of the Cubs during one of the most successful eras in franchise history, is reportedly headed to the New York Yankees in a trade. In return, the Cubs will get right-handed pitcher Alexander Vizcaino, the ninth-highest ranked prospect in the Yankees system, and outfielder Kevin Alcantara, who is ranked 12th in that category.
The deal and details were first reported by Jack Curry of the YES network.
This ends a nine-and-a-half-year run for Rizzo with the franchise that began when he was traded to the Cubs from the Padres early in the Epstein on January 6, 2012. He made his debut with the club that season, as he began a career that included three All-Star appearances, four Gold Glove Awards, a Silver Slugger Award in 2016 and the Roberto Clemente Award in 2017.
In that time, Rizzo was a leader on a team that built from the ground up and became one of the best teams in Major League Baseball in the last part of the 2010s. The Cubs made the playoffs five of six seasons from 2015-2020, made the National League Championship Series three straight years, and won the World Series in 2016, ending the franchise’s 108-year championship drought.
Rizzo didn’t play on Thursday afternoon against Cincinnati at Wrigley Field, finishing his 2021 season in Chicago with a slash line of .248/.346/.446 with 14 homers and 40 RBI.
Starting in 2021 up until Wednesday night, Rizzo played in 1,308 games for the franchise, finishing with a slash line of .272/.372/.446 with 242 homers and 784 RBI. Four times in his Cubs career, from 2014-2017, Rizzo hit more than 30 homers, including 2015 and 2016 when he finished in the Top 5 in the National League MVP voting.