Cubs deal Rizzo to Yanks, but he says Chicago will always be home

  • The Cubs rebuild hit a new level Thursday afternoon with news that Anthony Rizzo was traded to the New York Yankees for two prospects.

    The Cubs rebuild hit a new level Thursday afternoon with news that Anthony Rizzo was traded to the New York Yankees for two prospects. Associated Press

Updated 7/30/2021 12:11 AM

The dominoes started to fall for the Cubs at the end of the all-star break. The house finally caved in Thursday afternoon.

The Cubs sent first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the New York Yankees for two prospects. As of Thursday evening, there was no news on new homes for Kris Bryant or Craig Kimbrel. The MLB trade deadline strikes Friday at 3 p.m. Central.


Neither Rizzo, Bryant, nor Kimbrel played against the Reds. In the ninth inning, Bryant put on a batting helmet and picked up a bat. Manager David Ross said later he would have pinch-hit Bryant in the No. 9 slot, but the game ended at No. 7 with Jason Heyward making the final out.

When the game ended, Bryant lingered in the dugout, staring out at Wrigley Field. Rizzo, one of the most popular players in team history, came back onto the field a few hours after the game ended and took pictures with his wife Emily and dog Kevin. He chatted briefly with reporters before departing for the airport.

"This will always be home for me," Rizzo said. "But like I said, my best friend in the game, Jon Lester, did the same thing and has two special places in his heart. So for these next three months, it's going to be fun to go right into a race, Seeing the Yankees pull the triggers like this, get (Joey) Gallo, me now obviously, it's what they do and very exciting.

"The memories here will last forever and that's why I always cherished every moment. Now, I'm leaving with no regrets."

Rizzo is the longest-tenured Cubs player, making his debut on June 26, 2012 after arriving in a trade from San Diego. He obviously was an important player on the 2016 World Series team and he just passed Aramis Ramirez for sixth place on the Cubs' all-time list of home runs.

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He also expressed disappointment in not finishing his career with the Cubs in a chat with WSCR 670-AM Radio's Bruce Levine.

"Obviously, I want to be here," Rizzo said. "I told the guys I'd rather sink with the ship. If it is going to burn down, I want to burn down with it."

The Cubs will get two prospects in return -- outfielder Kevin Alcantara and right-handed pitcher Alexander Vizcaino. The YES Network in New York reported the Cubs will pick up the remainder of Rizzo's 2021 salary.

Among Yankees prospects, Alcantara was ranked No. 7 by and No. 12 by Vizcaino is No. 9 by mlbpipeline and No. 11 by fangraphs. Both players are from the Dominican Republic.

Vizcaino, 24, has pitched in high A and rookie league this season, walking 10 batters in 6 innings. Scouting reports say he has an elite fastball and changeup combination, which probably means he's best suited for a relief role.


The 6-foot-6 Alcantara, 19, hit .360 in eight games for the Yankees' rookie league team. He's drawn comparisons to former Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler as a long, athletic player.

Earlier Thursday, the Cubs traded reliever Ryan Tepera to the White Sox for left-handed pitcher Bailey Horn.

The trade deadline seemed to be weighing heavily on the Cubs as they lost their third straight game. They took a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning on a Willson Contreras 2-run homer. But the Reds answered with 2 runs in the sixth against Alec Mills, then 3 more in the seventh off Trevor Megill. Patrick Wisdom and Ian Happ also homered for the Cubs.

"I think everybody's ready to get past the deadline and figure out how we move forward," Happ said. "I think that's pretty natural to just kind of want some closure on what it's going to look like come game time tomorrow and move on from there.

"If something happens and they move one of those guys that's been here that's been one of your closest friends, you wouldn't be human if the reaction wasn't very, very close to the heart."

More big names changed teams Thursday night with reports of Washington sending pitcher Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner to the Dodgers.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports


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