Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And It Comes Full Circle: Javy Vazquez Returns

When Matt created the Nick Johnson trade tree last week, he had to go all the way back to the trade that sent Johnson to the Expos for Javier Vazquez. Since then, Johnson's been oft-injured but productive when healthy, putting up .402 career OBP. A year after being acquired from Montreal, Vazquez was traded to Arizona for Randy Johnson, who was disappointing in his tenure in Pinstripes. In the five years since that trade, he's thrown over 200 innings every season, with a combined ERA+ of 110.

It seems that Brian Cashman is now attempting to right those wrongs as the Yankees have reportedly acquired Javier Vazquez from the Braves along with lefty reliever Boone Logan in exchange for Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino, who was just named the Yankees third best prospect by Baseball America after an excellent campaign in short-season Staten Island.

Vazquez is coming off a terrific season for the Braves in which he threw 219 innings to a 2.87 ERA. He'll be making $11.5M next year (the last on his contract), so he won't come cheap, but he's very similar to Andy Pettitte in that he's likely to pitch a whole lot of innings at a better than average ERA. The Yankees might have bought at the peak of his value, but this is a salary dump to a certain exent as well because they didn't give up a whole lot.

Boone Logan is a 25 year old lefty who was traded to the Braves along with Vazquez from the White Sox last winter in exchange for two minor leaguers and two of the least manly-named baseball players imaginable - Tyler Flowers and Brent Lillibridge. Logan's career ERA is north of 5.00 and it's not a whole lot better in the minors, but he'll likely compete for a spot in the bullpen now that both Mike Dunn and Phil Coke are gone.

It's sad to see Melky go, but he's starting to get fairly expensive and hasn't displayed the kind of tantalizing ceiling that makes you think he is going to be an All-Star caliber player in the future. Dunn is a converted outfielder, so he is still early in his development as a pitcher. He could very well turn out to be a solid reliever, but for now his walk rate is awfully high. Arodys Vizcaino is a long, long way from the Majors, but he flashed a lot of potential this year and is the one piece that could be the most painful to see in another uniform in the long run.

My overall impression is that this is a great deal for the Yankees for this year. They get a very solid starter to fill out the back of their rotation (and a possibly lefty for the 'pen) in exchange for two fringe MLB players and a pitcher that is still several leaps and bounds from the Big League club.

However, this means that top 4 members of the Yanks' starting rotation will be making $62.5M this year. It also means the Yanks will most likely have to go outside of the organization to fill the hole in left field. I guess it's good that the Yankees are spending the money they are making instead of stuffing it in the coffers, but the talk of a "budget" that was prevalent early in this offseason is getting more and more laughable by the day.


  1. Yeah, with another trade in the books I am okay with this one as well. I know the budget that was set seems to be nothing more then bullshit but I do like that we have a lot of money coming off the books next year. As Cashman said, he likes the FA market next year. I really dont know who we will get in left. Does this open up the Damon talks again?

  2. It doesn't look like this opens up the Damon talks. Joel Sherman has said that the Yanks are still looking to keep payroll under $200M which would leave something like $5-7M to cover LF. I'm guessing they would opt for a one year deal if at all possible to keep their options open for next year's FAs.

  3. Not too good for my selective amnesia that related to an event involving Home Run Javy and a certain left fielder who this trade may open a spot for.

  4. "Not too good for my selective amnesia that related to an event involving Home Run Javy and a certain left fielder who this trade may open a spot for."

    If I hear this argument one more time I'm gonna throw something. Andy Pettitte completely blew up in Game 6 of the 2001 World Series with a chance to clinch, so this obviously means he can't pitch in big games or the postseason. Oh, and because he blew that WS, Mariano Rivera clearly sucks under pressure.

    SSS dude.

  5. Logan's career ERA is north of 5.00 and it's not a whole lot better in the minors, but he'll likely compete for a spot in the bullpen not that both Mike Dunn and Phil Coke are gone.

    EARTH TO JAY!! EARTH TO JAY!! Mike Dunn and Phil Coke are definately gone. Wake up and smell the starbucks and start paying attention to the team that you supposedly "cover"! LOL! Can't wait to see Melky banging HRs over the wall in Turnip Field! LOL!

  6. Anon - "not" was supposed to be "now".

    It was a typo, I wasn't refusing to believe that they had been traded.

  7. Sure, sure! That's what they all say! Worst trade ever for the Yankees. Can't wait till "BIG GAME" Vasquez blows his ERA up to 7.33 in late August.

  8. Anon, you are stupid keyster stasher. That was obviously a typo. Keep your stupid fucking comments on boston blogs. Thank You.

  9. So I'm supposed to forgive and forget Game 7 in 2004 and that awesome 6.92 post-All Star Break ERA? A 4.88 ERA in 2006 and a 4.67 ERA in 2008?

    It seems like people think that he is the Second Coming.

    Honestly, I don't get it. Why the love for Home Run Javy?

  10. Anon @ 2:11:

    Do you want Jaret Wright and Kevin Brown back?

  11. Joe: Yes, you are supposed to forget one pitch from four years ago, since it wasn't even him who put the three previous runners on base. It was the first pitch he threw, can you blame him for trying to throw a strike with the bases loaded? The Yankees won the World Series last year man, haven't you heard? Let go of 2004.

    It seems like people think he's going to be the fourth starter, not the second coming.

    He's a good pitcher, man. No one is asking him to be the ace of the staff. They just want him to throw 200 innings at a better than average ERA, which he is more than capable of.

  12. Anon: His second half of the season was horrible as well. Check the splits.

  13. What's more relevant, the 16 games he started in the second half of 2004 or the 162 games he started since then? Because those were pretty good.

    Are you upset about the pieces they gave up, or the fact that they acquired one of the top 15 or 20 pitchers in the league to be their 4th starter? 2004 was a long ass time ago bro.