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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