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Tampa Bay Rays Interested In Anthony Rizzo?

The Tampa Bay Rays are in the market for a young first baseman with upside. Their minor league system is one of the best in the majors, but they have a dearth of first base talent in the high minors, meaning that they have no immediate help at the position on the way. First base is a position difficult to fill through free agency, as most of the good first baseman are power hitters and command huge salaries (see: Pujols, Albert), so the Rays would ideally like to trade for a young prospect.

The Rays have been rumored to have interest in a number of young players this offseason (Logan Morrison, Yonder Alonso), and in the wake of the San Diego-Cincinnati deal on Saturday, we can add one more more name to that list:

Clubs have already started calling the Padres about Anthony Rizzo, and the Rays and Cubs are among those interested according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). Rizzo could be on the market after Yonder Alonso joined San Diego in the Latos trade. (MLB Trade Rumors)

Anthony Rizzo was the young first base prospect that the Padres acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez deal with Boston, and after watching him struggle in a brief stint in the majors this season, the Padres have acquired Yonder Alonso to be their first baseman of the future. Rizzo will apparently be sent back to Triple-A, despite the fact that he destroyed Triple-A pitchers last season (1.056 OPS).

The Cubs and Rays appear to be trying to buy low on Rizzo and nab him from the Padres at a reduced price, and he would be a fantastic acquisition by the Rays. The trick is, which team will be willing to offer the better deal for Rizzo? The Cubs are supposedly trying to build a package around Matt Garza, while the Rays would likely offer one of Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, or Alex Cobb.

For more on this rumor, check out Tommy Rancel's take over at ESPN Florida.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.