Good morning Fackers. It's been a week now since the Javier Vazquez trade. Aside from the non-sensical talk of "he can't pitch in NY!!!11!1", "home run Javy", and the focus on the small role he played in a team wide failure that resulted in the greatest post-season collapse in baseball history, the post-trade talking point that I'm most tired of is the presumption that this is a one year pick-up.
Yes. Javier Vazquez is only signed through the 2010 season. Yes, Cliff Lee, Josh Beckett, Brandon Webb, and others are slated to hit the free agent market following the 2010 season. Heck, maybe the Mariners are willing to shop King Felix at that point, or the Royals Zack Greinke. But at this point there's no telling who will be shopped or who will sign an extension by this time next year.
What we do know is that by this time next year, Andy Pettitte will be 38, a free agent, and doing the will-he-or-won't-he retirement dance for the fifth consecutive off-seeason. CC Sabathia will have one year left before before he has the right to opt out of his contract, and A.J. Burnett will be nearly 34 years old and either coming off his third consecutive injury free season or facing health concerns for the umpteenth time in his career.
So why do we just assume that the Yankees are going to let Vazquez walk? Sure the draft picks would be nice, but so would a pitcher who could give you 200 above average innings each year. Maybe the club wouldn't want to commit even a three year deal to the then 34 year old Vazquez, especially considering that he'll have about 2,700 ML innings on his arm by then.
But presuming that 2010 is the last year of Andy Pettitte's career, allowing Vazquez to walk would leave the Yankees with two openings in their rotation. One would go to the loser of this coming spring's Joba/Hughes competition. The other? If the likes of Lee or Beckett fail to hit the market or land in the Bronx the next tier of free agent pitchers is no better than Vazquez, and the same is likely to hold true for any of the in-house options (McAllister, Nova, Bleich).
I'm not saying the Yankees should sign Vazquez at the conclusion of next season. But before we presume that this will be another one and done stint in the Bronx, I think should consider some of the pitching situations the Yankees may be facing at this time next year and let the 2010 season play out.
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