December 22, 2009

Javier Vazquez traded back to Yankees

vazquez Javier Vazquez was given just one year to prove he could handle pitching in New York, but he couldn’t. Now, he’ll get another shot, as he was traded to the Yankees for Melky Cabrera and Mike Dunn.

The Yankees also received lefty reliever Boone Logan from the Braves, but his numbers aren’t very pretty.

Judging from the numbers, the Yankees acquired a big time starter for an average — at best — left fielder and two promising relievers.

UPDATE: Sweeny Murti confirms the Yankees also sent pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino to the Braves.

First reaction: Advantage Yankees (still). But let’s look a little deeper.

Vazquez is owed $11.5 million in 2010 before his contract expires, so that’s definitely a negative. But that’s what he’s been making for the last six years (if you go back to his contract with the Yankees).

“I’m outraged and I’m disappointed and I wish them the worst,” my dad says of the trade.

Here’s why he might be upset. The Yankees have already tried out Vazquez, and he failed. He was an All-Star, actually, but he ended the year with a 14-10 record, 4.93 ERA and 150 strikeouts — his lowest total in the last 10 years by 29.

If you don’t recall, he was one answer to my trivia question last week. If you don’t recall, the Yankees traded away Nick Johnson for Vazquez in 2004, and then re-signed him to a lucrative contract. After blowing Game 7 of the ALCS against the Red Sox (I’m gonna cry), he was dealt to the D’Backs for Randy Johnson. Nice history with the team.

Anyway, this trade opens up the outfield market again, unless the Yankees want to go with Brett Gardner in center and Curtis Granderson in left with Jamie Hoffman as the backup (not terrible). The available left fielders: Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, Jermaine Dye (RF), Mark DeRosa and a guy named Johnny Damon. There are options.

It also boots Joba Chamberlain and/or Phil Hughes to the bullpen (which I like). I’d prefer Hughes stays in the rotation, but I think Chamberlain will stay because he is more experienced as a starter at this point in time. Remember, they both can dominate the eighth inning.

Bottom line: It’s another big trade for the Yankees, and that means a whole new can of worms is open.

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