Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Analysis of the Javier Vazquez Trade

By acquiring Javier Vazquez, the Yankees are addressing one of their more pressing needs this winter: more starting pitching. And by acquiring Vazquez, they sure picked up a good one. Vazquez is coming off the best season of his career with the Braves and was one of the top starting pitchers in the National League last season. On paper, the Yankees now have a starting rotation comparable to that of the Red Sox.

But you have to wonder how Vazquez will fare with the Yankees. Vazquez was a bust for the Yankees back in 2004 and now he will be moving out of the cozy NL East and into the potent AL East. In many ways, it's like moving from junior varsity to varsity. And in that respect, I would expect Vazquez's numbers to go up from last season.

Make no mistake about it though, if Vazquez can give the Yankees 200 IP with 190+ K's, and a 3.75 ERA, then there is no reason why he won't be able to win 15+ games with the Yankees the way this team is constructed.

While this trade does not give the Braves the power bat they were looking for, it does free them of the $11 million owed to Vazquez this season and allows them to become players on the free agent market should they choose too. It remains to be seen if they will be able to pursue Holliday or Bay, but given how poorly both of their markets have developed, the Braves would seem to have a good chance to land either player, especially Bay. At the very least, the Braves should have the funds to re-sign Adam LaRoche or go after Dan Uggla.

And it's important to note that the Braves did not just get rid of Vazquez's contract, but they also got more in return that I thought. Melky Cabrera should be a very useful fourth outfielder/platoon partner for the Braves who can hit for some power and play solid defense. In addition, Cabrera is not projected to be a free agent until after the 2012 season, which is yet another plus for the Braves. Also, Mike Dunn could be a realistic option for the Braves bullpen this season and lemme tell you this, I watched Aroyds Vizcaino pitch several times for the Staten Island Yankees last season, and that dude has phenomenal stuff. Sure he is still a ways away from the majors, but the raw talent is certainly there.


Thelandryhat.com said...

This was a horrible trade for the Braves. Javier Vazquez should have stayed. Frank Wren is obviously looking to get Adrian Gonzalez

Jorge Says No! said...

Adrian Gonzalez? Please explain how he comes into the picture. Are the Braves really in a position to give up premium talent for two years of Gonzalez? I doubt it.

And no, this is not a bad trade for the Braves. Sure it hurts to give up Vazquez, but Wren sold him on him and got a team to eat all of his salary in a down market and give up three potentially useful parts in return. The Braves will be better off because of this deal if they can sign a hitter to compliment their pitching staff.

Lynn Possible said...

At first I thought this was a horrible trade for the Braves, but the inclusion of Aroyds Vizcaino (and even some cash considerations) made me change me mind. Baseball Prospectus had him ranked as the Yankees 3rd overall prospect. He sounds like he could become Neftali Perez, whom the Braves gave up in the Teixeira deal.

Interesting note, two of the players (Vazquez and Logan) the Braves acquired from the White Sox last year for Tyler Flowers and others, were part of this deal. So the Braves essentially traded Flowers, Brent Lillibridge, Jon Gimore and Santos Rodriguez for Cabrera, Dunn, Vizcaino and cash. To me, Flowers and Vizcaino are the keys in these deals.

Added note: The Braves have apparently reached agreement with Troy Glaus on a one-year deal to play first base. Good bat and good glove; he should be able to make the transition to first base. He also won't block ├╝ber prospect Freddie Freeman. But, given Glaus' recent health issues, I hope the Braves are still looking to spend a little more money in the outfield.

Jorge Says No! said...

After watching arodys pitch multiple times las season, its easy to see why the braves targeted him. His upside is tremendous especially when you tkae into account that he threw 91-93 as a 18 year old last season