Quick Hits: Rizzo, Rangers, Garza, Johnson

It was one year ago today that the Angels and Blue Jays pulled off the huge trade that sent Vernon Wells to Anaheim in exchange for Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli.  The Jays were considered immediate winners for getting Wells' huge contract off their payroll and the swap looks even better for Toronto given Wells' .218/.248/.412 season in 2011.

Some news from around the majors…

  • New Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo holds the top spot on this list of baseball's top 10 first base prospects from MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.
  • Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine acknowledged that there are "active discussions internally" about improving the team when speaking with Todd Hollandsworth and Jim Memolo on MLB Network Radio (mp3 link), but it's unlikely the Rangers will make another significant move. "It won't be from a lack of creativity," he said.
  • Matt Garza told Hollandsworth and Memolo that he's "definitely open" to signing an extension with the Cubs (mp3 link).
  • Josh Johnson tells Glenn Geffner of the Marlins Insider 790 AM radio show (and passed on by Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post) that he will begin throwing off a mound next week, the first time the Marlins ace has done so since September.  Johnson was limited to nine starts last season due to shoulder injuries.
  • Yoenis Cespedes is still not an established resident of the Dominican Republic, which is holding up his free agency, reports MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.
  • Kyle Blanks may only realize his potential if he leaves the Padres, opines Fangraphs' Paul Swydan.
  • Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune is back with his weekly online chat about the Padres.
  • The Tigers, Indians and the "sleeper choice" Brewers are all possible fits for Derrek Lee, writes Tony Andracki of CSNChicago.com.

MLBTR's Mike Axisa also contributed to this post

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16 Comments on "Quick Hits: Rizzo, Rangers, Garza, Johnson"

3 years 7 months ago

I still can’t believe the Angels made that trade.

3 years 7 months ago

To those of you who do not want Prince to go to Texas i.e. Angels fans:

Are the denials from the Rangers’ camp (all 50 of them in the last 48 hours) easing your worry at all? It seems like too much, like every single person in the organization has been told to deny any real possibility of it.

Or am I just a paranoid Angels fan?

3 years 7 months ago

With the disclaimer of being a Rangers fan, the denials are increasing my expectation of signing him.  No different than when they used the excuse of ballpark renovations and a pending buyout payment of the short-lived partial ownership of Chuck Greenberg for tempering expectations of a Yu Darvish bid.

Regardless, it will still require a huge deferral of salary until 2015.

3 years 7 months ago

Be afraid, be very afraid…muahahaha…jk I don’t know.

3 years 7 months ago

Kyle Blanks is an interesting but possible fit for that LF spot that the Braves could be looking for . How cheap could be had for ?

3 years 7 months ago

Cheap enough that it doesn’t make sense for us to trade him. 

3 years 7 months ago

Check his minor league stats . The kid had really good numbers . Even in AAA . He’s never seen any substantial playing time in San Diego . He may be cheap enough that he makes perfect sense for us . Especially if Wren is looking for that “young LF thumper” that he has been quoted to be looking for .

3 years 7 months ago

I think he meant, that he would come cheap enough that it would make little sense for the Padres to trade him.

Blanks’s power is something to behold, but he is swing is long thus the strike outs. He still has an option remain so it makes no sense for the Padres to trade him this year. Keep in AAA and find out if he can stay healthy for the whole year in the outfield.

3 years 7 months ago

Vogelbach made that list as well.  It’s interesting that the Cubs, over 6 months (from the draft through this offseason) added two legit 1B prospects to a system that had none.

3 years 7 months ago

Besides Rizzo, who is the other?

scott brecht
3 years 7 months ago

hopefully he can keep his weight down.  he made prince fielder look “healthy”.

3 years 7 months ago

Well he already dropped 40 lbs before he was drafted.

3 years 7 months ago

If I were Rebel Ridling, I’d be pretty PO’d now!  To go from an organization that had a black hole at my position, to an organization that had the starting 1B hit over 50 homeruns in 2011 and 2 Top 10 prospects in all of baseball, playing my spot!  Time to step it up Rebel!  The trade for Rizzo also probably means another year at AA for Rebel.  I see he played one game at 3rd base in 2009, and has played some outfield, so he might be asking for more playing time elsewhere.  Trade candidate?

3 years 7 months ago

Derek Lee has the feeling of a washed up veteran journeyman but was with the Cubs as recently as midseason 2010.  I was surprised when I looked it up.

Even though he’s okay, I sure hope the Brewers stay away.

3 years 7 months ago

Who knows more about the Fox-TX tv deal?  Why doesn’t it kick in until later? I don’t think it even comes close to the Angels deal, for a lot of reasons.  One the Lakers did not resign with Fox, Two the size of the market, Three Albert

3 years 7 months ago

And then AA tricked you into trading him too! He’s such a genius! (This is purely a joke, Blue Jays haters please stay where you are).