Today the Chicago Cubs have apparently traded long-time unofficial captain Anthony Rizzo to the New York Yankees. Again, we’ll get into the emotional depths of that trade soon – it’s hard for me to process it fully in the moment when I’m also just trying to cover the trade, to be honest – but I want to get the prospect return in front of you as it comes out.
Jack Curry reports that it’s rookie ball outfielder Kevin Alcantara and High-A righty Alexander Vizcaino (confirmed by Mark Feinsand). To net that return – which is admitted considerable – the Cubs are eating the rest of Rizzo’s salary this year.
In the two updated-for-midseason prospect lists we have, Alcantara ranks 7th at FanGraphs and 14th at Baseball America in the Yankees system (pre-Gallo trade). Vizcaino ranks 11th at FanGraphs and 12th at Baseball America. At MLB Pipeline, where the rankings haven’t yet been updated, Alcantara is 12th and Vizcaino is 9th. These are significant prospects, especially given how loaded the Yankees system was.
Vizcaino, 24, is already on the 40-man roster and is working back from a shoulder issue, so that’s part of why he was available. He has touched triple-digits in the past. Alcantara, 18, is raking in rookie ball, and was a big bonus baby signing a couple years ago. He’s described as a great athlete in center field with loud tools (which makes it all the better that he’s hitting so well in the early going in the complex league).
In the abstract, given the health risks for Rizzo and him being a rental position player, this is a clear huge return for the Cubs. Far more than I thought they could realistically get, which means, yes, I do understand why they pulled the trigger. The question for the future is whether Rizzo would now forgo a realistic opportunity to re-sign with the Cubs after the season (if they even try), because that, too, is something that is “lost” in the trade, and has to be calculated into the return.
I am glad to see that the Cubs are eating salary, though, using they money they said they had available. It’s what a big market team should do if it sees itself selling off at midseason.