Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Javier Vasquez, really?

Forgive me if I seem underwhelmed by news that the New York Yankees have re-acquired righty starter Javier Vazquez from the Atlanta Braves. My enduring memory of Vazquez was him giving up the Grand Slam homer to then-Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, putting
the World Series out of reach for the Yankees and allowing their hated rivals to go on to win their first world title since 1918.

Even prior to that game, Vazquez always seemed pretty soft to me, never putting up the kind of numbers that validated the team's belief in him. He went 14-10 with an ERA near 5.00 in 2004 on a team with a lot of offense. Plus, he's owed $11.5 million for the last year of his current contract so he's not cheap. On the plus side, Vazquez has managed to stay pretty healthy for a starting pitcher so perhaps that makes him a better option than injury-prone free-agents such as Ben Sheets. But is Vazquez really the best Brian Cashman could do?

I'm sorry to see Melky Cabrera go in the deal although I understand that Cashman had to give up something aside from his remaining top prospect Jesus Montero in exchange for another starter. Melky put up solid numbers for the Yanks this year, including game-winning hits that earned pies in the face from AJ Burnett. His hitting the cycle in August was one of the top highlights for the Yankees this year, for which he was honored alongside teammates Derek Jeter for eclipsing Lou Gehrig's all-time Yankee hits record and Mariano Rivera saving his 500th game. We'll miss him.
Thanks to Chrisjnelson via en.Wikipedia for the photo.

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