Javy Vazquez by the numbers

By the Decade: Better off with him
Open Thread: Images of Melky

Just some stuff I came across regarding Javier Vazquez today…

Payroll implications

By my back of the napkin calculation, the Yankees were at around $197 million in payroll before the Vazquez trade. This included estimated arbitration raises to Melky Cabrera, Chad Gaudin, and Sergio Mitre, plus filling out the roster with reserve clause players. Given all the talk about the Yankees’ 2010 budget, it didn’t appear they had room to make a big move. That is, unless the budget number is a bit higher than $200 million. That seems to be the case.

I could go through and make a calculation of the new payroll, but since this is an informal look at the numbers, I’m taking a different approach. Let’s compare what the Yankees shed this off-season to what they picked up.

Off the books
Johnny Damon – $13 million
Hideki Matsui – $13 million
Andy Pettitte – ~$10.5 million
Xavier Nady: $6.5 million
Chien-Ming Wang: $5 million
Brian Bruney: $1.25 million
Melky Cabrera: $1.4 million
Jose Molina: $2.125 million

Total: $52.775 million

Additions
Javy Vazquez: $11.5 million
Curtis Granderson: $5.5 million
Nick Johnson: $5.5 million
Andy Pettitte: $11.75 million

Total: $34.25 million

Raises
Derek Jeter: $1 million
CC Sabathia: $8.8 million (not sure how he showed up on the OD payroll, though)
Robinson Cano: $3 million
Nick Swisher: $1.45 million
Damaso Marte: $0.25 million

Total: $14.5 million

The additions and raises add up to $48.75 million, or just over $4 million in savings. That money will cover the arbitration cases for Gaudin and Mitre, and if the Yankees do trade Gaudin it would cover just about everything. So if the Yankees do intend to sign a left fielder, they’ll go over 2009 payroll by a little bit. But, if CC’s full salary (the ~$15 million salary plus signing bonus) did count against the OD payroll (I think it did), then the Yanks have some wiggle room. Not Matt Holliday wiggle room, but a little at least.

Quality of opponents faced

I’m not sure what we can take from Baseball Prospectus’s quality of batters faced statistics, but it’ll be an interesting look in any case. Clearly, with the pitcher in the nine hole Vazquez faced easier competition in the National League in 2009. But by how much?

Javy’s best American League season came in 2007 with the White Sox. Over 216.2 innings he pitched to a 3.74 ERA, posting 8.85 K/9, 2.08 BB/9, and a 3.80 FIP. Those are excellent numbers by any standard — though his 1.20 HR/9 mark is a bit concerning (though partly a product of the Sox ballpark). That year, he faced opponents who combined for a .270/.339/.418 line. Not too shabby.

Last year, when he finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting, Vazquez faced batters who hit a combined .254/.328/.403. They’re a bit worse, as expected, since the nine hole is consistently filled by a pitcher. Stilll, it’s good to know that he can do it against better opponents, too. For comparison, in his 2008 season in Chicago he faced batters who hit .263/.337/.412, so they were slightly worse than the hitters he faced in 2007, but he fared worse.

Confused yet?

Batted ball data

When trying to account for an uncharacteristically good or bad season from a player, I like to check out their batted ball data to see if there is any significant shift. There appears to be one for Vazquez in 2009. He increased his ground ball percentage, which is always welcome, but more importantly he drastically reduced his fly ball percentage. He had been in the low 40% range for most of his career, but in 2009 he brought it all the way down to 34.8 percent. That’s quite excellent for a player who has a home run to fly ball rate of over 10 percent for his career. Javy is home run prone, but if he keeps the ball out of the air he’ll fare much, much better in that regard.

Plate discipline

Another stat from Vazquez’s FanGraphs page: opponents had a tough time making contact with pitches outside the strike zone. In 2009 Vazquez threw more pitches outside the zone than at any point in his career. Yet he still posted the best walk rate since 2001. The key: opponents just couldn’t hit those pitches. Does it mean Vazquez found something on his breaking and off-speed pitches that eluded him before? I’m not quite sure. It’s an interesting phenomenon, for sure.

Not only did Vazquez throw more pitches out of the zone in 2009 than he had before in his career, but opposing hitters swung at them less frequently than in years past. Even with those two factors, hitters just couldn’t make as much contact on those pitches. That’s something I’ll definitely be looking for when Javy takes the mound this season.

First half of 2004

Many fans can’t forgive Javy for his 2004 meltdown. It started at the All-Star break, and extended all the way through the playoffs. But don’t let that discount what he did early in the season. Through 18 starts, Javy averaged almost 6.2 innings per start, posting a 3:1 K/BB ratio and allowing just 47 runs through 118.2 innings.

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By the Decade: Better off with him
Open Thread: Images of Melky
  • Sean

    Don’t forget that A-Rod makes 6 million LESS this year than he did last season. He made 33 million last year, only 27 this year. I’ve yet to hear anyone mention that, but thats a whole 6 million to work with.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

      I think that’s factored in.

      • Sean

        Hopefully, I just wonder what it actually is. I’ve read in places like ESPN that says he’s at 27 for next year but Joe’s projection a week or so about said he was about 32-33 million range. Is there anyway to know for sure?

        • Tom Zig

          See my post below

      • BklynJT

        It wasn’t listed in the post. I’m sure other bottom up calculations have it factored in, but JP is taking a shortcut approach to calculate the payroll and might have forgotten to subtract ARod’s pay decrease in the process.

    • Tom Zig

      unless Cot’s is wrong (or i’m reading it wrong), he makes 33 this year:

      http://spreadsheets.google.com.....utput=html

      • Mike bk

        im not sure they count the bonuses the same.

      • BklynJT

        We can’t go by the cots contract data because the yankees are working with AAV of players, and that excludes bonuses and players not on 40 man (igawa)

    • Mike bk

      not according to cot’s.

      10:$32M

      • Sean

        here is where ESPN says he makes 27 this coming year.

        http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....yerId=3115

        In response to 10 for 32 per, I remember specifically when the Yankees had the press conference/conference call that Alex was not going to make the same rate every year. I remember hearing it was front-loaded and then bonus’ kicked in as he made less on the back end of the deal. So him dropping to 27 would make sense, whether its true or not for this season remains to be seen. Anyone else remember the Yanks stating this front-loading plan though?

        • Jake H

          My guess is that doesn’t include bonuses. Bonuses are included in payroll and luxury tax $

          • BklynJT

            No they are not, only AAV.

      • Sean

        Arod is also not 10/32. it was 10 for 275. that means him making 27 this year is more likely. especially since he was 33 last year. thats the front-loading i was talking about. he was over last year, he’s at it now, later on he’ll be under + incentives.

    • crawdaddie

      What about the 5M buyout they paid Giambi for 2009? Shouldn’t that amount of money be in their 2009 payroll.

  • BklynJT

    Heard that Vazquez changed his arm slot this past year. Is there any truth to that?

    • Tom Zig

      Link?

      • BklynJT

        Buster only twittered it.

        Part of the reason why the NYY believe Vazquez will be better this time around is his arm angle-which was down in 2004,affecting his sinker.

        http://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN

        Also, good bullet items by Sherman on Yankee though process going into this trade

        http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/.....dq2HIKg1VM

        • Tank the Frank

          Well, that would explain the GB% increase. Man, if he can duplicate that….wow…what a pickup.

          Hope he doesn’t get too gun shy at YSIII. I think it’ll help to have CC, AJ and Andy to talk to about pitching in the stadium. Especially since Andy really had his troubles in the first half and then turned it around. I’m sure he’ll have some sound advice for Javy.

  • EB

    Fun Fact: Javy, AJ and Lackey all have a career 3.83 FIP

    The yankees just added the third best pitcher in baseball last year according to FIP and a lock for 200IP. I love it.

  • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

    As for the payroll.

    Cash says “I do have a number that we’re working under. We will be at that number and it will be less than last year… I will continue to look at any remaining piece, but it won’t be a big piece.” -Lohud

    Last year we were somewhere between 210-220 when incentives were all said and done, correct me if I’m wrong.

    I wonder if this limit is a bit higher than I expected, say somewhere near 210.

  • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

    Some numbers I dug up throughout the day (all WAR figures are from Stat Corner, not Fangraphs):

    Javier Vazquez is the only starting pitcher to produce at least a 5.6-WAR season in each of the last four campaigns – 5.8 (2009); 5.6 (2008); 5.7 (2007); 5.8 (2006).

    Courtesy of Eric Seidman: http://bit.ly/60PQBr

    Over the last ten seasons, only two pitchers have been durable enough to reach 2,000 or more innings thrown—an average of 200 IP per year—while simultaneously posting a strikeout rate north of 8.0 and an unintentional walk rate under 2.5. One of those pitchers is Randy Johnson, a first-ballot Hall of Famer and arguably the most dominant southpaw starter of the last quarter-century. The other pitcher happens to be Javier Vazquez …

    In 2008, his final season in the Junior Circuit, Vazquez ranked fourth in the following metrics: tRA (3.51); pitching runs above average (32.6); WAR (5.6); K/9 (8.64).

    During the 2006-2008 AL seasons, Vazquez and teh Johan were the only AL starting pitchers to rank in the top seven of the regressed tRA (*tRA) statistic in every season.

    Yeah, Javier Vazquez is a fucking ace, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Honestly, you can make a very good case that he is the best starting pitcher in the American League East under 290 pounds.

    • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

      Oh, and if you’re a bit puzzled as to why he has continually underperformed his peripherals over his last three AL seasons, take a look at where the Chicago White Sox ranked in team defensive efficiency during the 2006-2008 campaigns: 20th in 2008; 23rd in both 2007 and 2006.

      Not only did the Yankees finish with an above-average 13th ranking in 2009, but you can logically expect significant improvements at third base (a healthier Alex Rodriguez), left field (Johnny Damon to Brett Gardner) and center field (the Melky Cabrera-Brett Gardner duo to Curtis Granderson).

      • Tom Zig

        You forgot: Nick Swisher being Nick Swisher in Right Field.

        Didn’t he make improvements to his defense after talking with Eiland?

        • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

          Eiland just helped with his arm slot and mechanics I believe.

        • Salty Buggah

          He did work on his throwing when the season was close to finishing. And we saw the results in the playoffs. He had some good throws. He’ll probably still be a near 0 UZR guy I think

          • Tom Zig

            I’ll take a 0 UZR and be very happy. That’s a lot better than the -20 something, Mr. Abreu used to put up.

            • Salty Buggah

              Agreed

        • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

          Yes, he did, and you clearly saw a difference. Also, his range was above average in 2009 (+3.5), and the only thing that seems to have dragged his defense down in UZR’s opinion was his 4.3-runs-below-average throwing arm. Although, I’m not going to be overtly optimistic in this sense and say that he will instantly return to being the plus-six defender UZR sees him as over his career because of a new throwing motion, but it would be awesome to see.

      • Salty Buggah

        More evidence to back up my post below (or my post is more evidence to Jamal’s post…either way)

      • Mike bk

        if gardner is going to play everyday it should be in center and it has nothing to do with how his bat plays where. he is a better cf’er than grandy, so he should play center and let grandy play left.

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

          Not so sure about that. While Brett probably has better range, we’re still looking at his numbers through a very small sample. Also, his arm is pretty weak–though not Damon weak–so it may be better to have Granderson, who still has good range, play CF.

          • Mike bk

            and what would you say if according to fangraphs Brett has a higher rated arm than Granderson?

            Brett 3.0
            Curtis ’08: -1.4, ’09: -0.6

            • pete

              sample size?

              • ledavidisrael

                Isn’t arm rating culimative? It isn’t like avg or obp or k/9 which is an average of performance. I might be wrong but i believe you earn a plus rating like WAR with ARM

        • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

          I agree with JMK – Curtis Granderson has been rated as a +5 defender in center field over his career, and Plus/Minus saw him make a total of twenty-four plays that the average center fielder did not over the last three years, and fifteen more in 2009. I am more than comfortable with saying that Brett Gardner is at least a 15-run improvement over Jason Bay and Johnny Damon in LF based on Gardner’s Total Zone numbers in the minors and his UZR projections, but not Granderson, a really good defender by all accounts.

          • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

            … Curtis Granderson has been rated as a +5 defender in center field over his career, per UZR,

            • Mike bk

              is that the same UZR that had him as a -9.4 in 08 and only a 1.6 in 09?

              So the argument is that he should play center in ’10 because he was really good there in 06 and 07?

              Gardner does have a small sample to an extent but was 15.4 in 09 in 790 innings overall in CF rated at 27.6

              • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

                No, the argument is that you should be careful with making a statement about a player’s defensive performance using a non-three-year sample of UZR data.

          • Tank the Frank

            I should also bring up a point I heard that Grandy was playing CF in a bigger ballpark with Magglio Freakin’ Ordonez. Yankee Stadium’s dimensions should help him defensively (as well as offensively) as should the better outfield defense surrounding him.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

      Nice stats there, Jamal. I’m going to take it that you’re very happy with the deal?

      I see him as a very, very good fringe ace/ unreal #2 starter. It’s crazy that we could very conceivably see Andy or A.J. as our 5th best starter by the end of the year. Up until today one could easily argue Boston’s rotation trumped ours. Now, I think few would make that argument; at worst we’re on par with theirs, and likely better.

      My only concern is Javy’s home run rate jumping back to his norms, especially with lefties at YSIII, and what will happen to Hughes. I’d really rather have him develop some innings and work on his pitches at AAA or as a swingman (but again, only if he gets serious innings). I’d really hate to see him lose another year building up his arm and developing his pitches while throwing mostly fastballs as a set-up man.

      • http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090810&content_id=6355462&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy JobaWockeeZ

        My only concern is Javy’s home run rate jumping back to his norms, especially with lefties at YSIII, and what will happen to Hughes. I’d really rather have him develop some innings and work on his pitches at AAA or as a swingman (but again, only if he gets serious innings). I’d really hate to see him lose another year building up his arm and developing his pitches while throwing mostly fastballs as a set-up man.

        Agreed with the Hughes thing. I’d like to see him at AAA where it’s a guarantee he’s the 6th starter and he can develop some pitches there like his changeup. A swingman role would also be nice if he’s developing pitches and pitching quite a lot like he was doing when he first went to the bullpen and not the 8th inning guy.

        I’ll be really ticked off if he’s only the 8th inning guy not even being an option for starting depth like last year.

        • http://thebronxbloggers.wordpress.com Bronx Blogger

          Cash said him and Joba will compete for that 5th spot, so it’s not guaranteed to go to Joba.

          Stil….

          • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

            Joba’s without an innings limit, started all of last year and is likely a bit more developed. I’d be shocked if it wasn’t Hughes getting dropped from a spot.

            • http://thebronxbloggers.wordpress.com Bronx Blogger

              I kinda assumed that, but both Chad and Sam at LoHud said that they’d assume Joba would go to the bullpen when they did their live chat this afternoon.

              • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

                They can have their assumptions, sure. Still, it doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense any way you slice it (unless they’ve decided they want Joba permanently in the bullpen).

      • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

        Hmm, I’d probably go:

        1. CC Sabathia
        2. Jon Lester
        3. Javier Vazquez
        4. Josh Beckett
        5. John Lackey
        6. A.J. Burnett
        7. Andy Pettitte
        8. Daisuke Matsuzaka
        9A. Joba Chamberlain
        9B. Clay Buchholz

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

          Yeah, I’d agree with that. Ultimately, I think it depends on how one views the gap is between them all. For instance, I think there’s a small-medium gap from CC to Lester, a big gap from Andy to Dice-K. Because of consistency I’d also argue there’s a sizable gap from Lackey to A.J.

          All in all, it’s pretty close. Both have really, really good rotations. I just see a bit more strength for us on top with CC, Javy over Lester and Beckett and on the bottom with Andy and Joba over Clay and Dice-K, though I’d rather have Lackey over A.J.

          Still, it’s way too close to tell.

          • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

            I agree it is a small gap between Sabathia and Lester – the only reason I really rated them as such is because the former has been doing it longer than Lester. Also, as far as performance goes, I think Pettitte and Matsuzaka are a wash, but because of the health issues of the latter in 2009, I rated him below Pettitte.

      • Tank the Frank

        I echo your sentiments on Hughes. Can we please just have these guys as starters and be done with it!?!

        This is why we need to pray for a quick start by Melancon and/or Nova. Let them pump mid-90’s fastballs in the 7th or 8th inning. Lord knows they have the stuff to get it done.

  • Salty Buggah

    He also has had bad OF D behind him in the past, which will hurt him as he is flyball pitcher. Last year, the Braves had a middle of the pack OF defense. In 08, the White Sox had the 3rd worst OF D in the majors. In 07, their OF defense was the 11th worst. In 04, the Yanks had the worst OF defense in the world by a large margin (-22.5 UZR/150 compared to the next worst team, the Red Sox, who had a -10.6 UZR/150…yea, so REALLY REALLY REALLY bad D).

    Our OF D should be pretty good this year so that will help his stats.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

      +28

    • BklynJT

      Great points, although the credit really should go to JamalG, but you get credit for fluffing up the argument with more stats.

      • Salty Buggah

        Heh, sure. But my post was a minute after his original idea and his defense post was 4 mins after mine so I didnt steal any ideas.

        • BklynJT

          LOL you got me on that one

  • Yazman

    Cashman: “Brett Gardner is now in a position to be an every day player for us.”

    Superior speed, superior defense, grit, league-average hitting and minimum pay make a great combination for your #9 hitter. I’m hoping Gardie sticks.

    • Tom Zig

      I’m holding out hope for DeRosa or Damon. But if it’s Brett Gardner, so be it.

      Cashman is that dude.

    • Amy

      +1

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

        -2

    • http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090810&content_id=6355462&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy JobaWockeeZ

      I’m not so sure he can provide league average hitting. He only had 248 AB last year.

    • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

      League average would be awesome. With his slugging I just don’t see it though.

      • Salty Buggah

        How do you feel not having Melky around anymore? I know you love him

        • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

          Bummed but what can you do.. Cash could improve the team and I’m happy he did.
          I still think Melk is going to blossom as he enters his prime over the next few years.

          Getting out of the AL East will probably be good for him in the long run. Bottom line, I’ll still be rooting for him.

          • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

            The toughest part is trying to figure out who my second favorite Yankee is. It used to go Al, Melk then everyone else.

            • Salty Buggah

              Grandy? Swish? Tex? CC/Tex are my 2nd favorites (they’re tied. I cant choose) after A-Rod

              • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

                Could be Curtis, I’ll figure it out eventually.. lol

              • http://pix.motivatedphotos.com/2009/5/13/633777941667220230-baseballplayers.jpg Keanu Reeves

                1. Jeter
                2. Cano
                3. Mo
                4. A-Rod
                5. Pettitte

                • http://pix.motivatedphotos.com/2009/5/13/633777941667220230-baseballplayers.jpg Keanu Reeves

                  I know no one asked who my favorite Yankees were, but I just got excited thinking about the list.

                • BklynJT

                  Posada is a great player, but his whiny attitude puts him on the bottom of my favorites player list.

                  ARod 1

                  Posada 25

                • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

                  BklynJT:

                  This is all JoPo has to say about that:

                  http://www.funnyordie.com/vide.....u-from-nas

          • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

            I think Melky will start to find his power next year or the year after. I could very well see him hit .285/.350/.460 with a little better plate discipline/pitch recognition. He’ll probably never be an AS, but he could definitely be an above-average CF for a long time.

            We forget how quickly he was rushed to the majors.

            • http://pix.motivatedphotos.com/2009/5/13/633777941667220230-baseballplayers.jpg Keanu Reeves

              This.

              Remember that series in Boston when he was, what, 19 or 20 years old?

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

          I’m upset only because it means Gardhoff is our LF (for now). I really fear that he’ll be a .240/.330/.340 hitter, though we may have one of the better defensive outfielders with him out there. If he improves his reads on the ball, puts more of his body into his swing, and develops better instincts on the base paths, I’ll be thrilled. I just wouldn’t bet on all those things happening, especially the bat.

          At least with Melky you could be reasonably certain he’d give you average production across the board.

          • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

            I’m excited to see what Hoffman will do. He’s been pretty good in the minors and turned 25 in August, just like Melky.

            • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

              Yeah, I think he’s seen more as a better-hitting Gardy without as much speed than a Melky-type. This is due to his good (but not incredible) speed and very good defense, rather than a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none Melkman.

              just my uninformed take.

              • pete

                that’s the impression i’ve gotten, too. He’s also a righty, i believe. I’ve said it before, i’ll say it again: the yankees are going to get at least 3 WAR out of left, and quite possibly closer to 5 or 6. And it will come from Gardner and Hoffman.

    • Marcus

      That’s even more of a hedge than “Bubba Crosby is our starting center fielder.” It could even be read as a statement of concern, “Oh shit! *Brett Gardner* is in a position to be an everyday player for us!”

      I’m almost expecting the other shoe to drop now.

    • http://thebronxbloggers.wordpress.com Bronx Blogger

      I’m worried about his arm in LF.

      • Tom Zig

        If you catch everything you don’t need an arm.

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

          I know you were being facetious but sacrifices, tagging, etc. sort of undermine the argument.

      • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

        In the 2009 season, 40% of UZR/150’s 35 worst outfielders had arms that were scored as slightly below average (ranging from -0.9 to -0.1 runs) to ? average (0); productive throwing arms are not a priority for good outfielders.

  • mr yankee

    Cashman was just on MLB network, states that they are in talks with an outfielder? Any idea seems like something is almost done. Sorry for the non topic but I thought you guys should know.

    • Mike bk

      the only ones they are known to have at least dialoged with would be derosa and damon.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

      It must be Adam Dunn, amirite?

  • mike jones

    Replacing Melkym Matsui, and Damon with Granderson and NJ is just not enough. They at least need to get derosa if damon is too expensive.

    • mr yankee

      whoever it is it appears is almost done. I guess Derosa, of course you never know woth Cashman. Could be Bay or Holliday or Damon.

    • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

      Our offense is amazing and Vasquez improves our rotation compared to 2009.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

      Who?!

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

        Also, can you be reached at Two Eight One, Three Three Oh!, Eight Zero Zero Fo’? Can we reach you down the low, ’cause you’re about to blow?

        /awkward…

        • Salty Buggah

          Haha, I read that with the tune being played out in my head

        • Tom Zig

          867-5309?

          /wrong song

    • BklynJT

      Aren’t we Yankee fans greedy. =)

  • ARX

    “Not only did Vazquez throw more pitches out of the zone in 2009 than he had before in his career, but opposing hitters swung at them less frequently than in years past.”

    So he threw more balls, and those balls induced fewer swings…but he had his best walk rate in 8 years? Um…neat trick?

    • pete

      haha i was just about to say that…that’s actually really impressive in a weird way.

      • A.D.

        Perhaps he was pounding the zone too much previously, and was able to more effectively waste pitches.

  • mr yankee

    I am suprised Cashman would reveal that they were close with anyone. I guess we all have to stay tuned

    • Januz

      I really would be shocked if it was DeRosa because he is a Type “B” Free Agent, who would cost them a second rounder (And they need to rebuild their farm system). I also do not think it is Holliday or Bay (It would cost them a first-rounder plus $15m (Or more) per season). I think it is Johnny Damon. Damon makes a lot of sense. 1: He will not cost a draft pick. 2: He has proven he can play in The Bronx. 3: He will not cost $15m per season. 4: He will not demand 4 years or longer.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        Type B picks do not cost the signing team a draft pick. The Cardinals would get a supplemental pick, but the Yankees wouldn’t lose one.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      This is not meant to be a dick, it’s totally serious. Are you sure you didn’t mishear and he said they weren’t close? I ask because I’m as surprised as you that he would say something like that.

      • NCpinstripes

        I watched the same segment. Harold Reynolds asked Cash about it, and Cashman basically said that they were dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on a deal. He wouldn’t go into specifics, but he did say Damon was out. It’s not Bay or Holliday either.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          Hot damn. Has to be DeRosa then, right?

          • vin

            I didn’t see the segment, but this has to be in reference to Nick Johnson, no?

          • ecksodia

            Seems that way. He did say he was willing to take a paycut to go to a winner…

  • NCpinstripes

    Cashman did basically say on the MLB Network that they have a guy all but signed, but it will not be Johnny Damon. I would think it’s DeRosa, but I hope it’s for only a year. Could possibly be Jermaine Dye. The Yanks could move Swish to left if that were the case.

    Honestly, I’m fine if they go with Brett Gardner. His speed is such an asset, and he has always gotten better throughout his minor league career in his second year at a particular level. He’s a hard worker, and I think he will more than prove his worth. I love Melky, but I think separating he and Cano may benefit both of them.

    • ecksodia

      Jermaine Dye? I hope not.

  • Lanny

    I’ll believe the budget is a hard number when I see gardner in LF on opening day hitting 9th.

  • Ken

    Cashman was on MLB Hot stove show and he said they are working on a player. He said they moved on from Damon when he was asked if they would bring him back. I prefer Jermane Dye and Verducci mentioned him as well, they also mentioned DeRosa.

    • Mo

      I heard the same Cashman interview on MLBTV. Certainly, sounds like DeRosa. Cust too?

  • http://www.zazzle.com/VicsExoticPhotos Vic Diana

    I like this move by the Yankees. I always like Javy, you can’t judge him for one bad pitch a few years ago. I think he’s going to make the rotation a lot better.