Lackey vs. Vazquez


Both the Yankees and Red Sox imported a big time starting pitcher this offseason, though they went about it in very different ways. The small market Sox managed to convince Lackey to take a massively below market deal in order to fit him into their tiny payroll (/hyperbole), while the Yanks traded an excellent prospect and two spare parts to bring Javy back. Jay at Fack Youk compared the two pitchers with regards to their polar opposite reputations of clutchiness, and shows that the two aren’t as different as you may think. Make sure you check it out, it’s some great stuff.

Categories : Asides


  1. while the Yanks traded an excellent prospect and two spare parts to bring Javy back.

    “Spare part”?

    Somewhere, probably at a Gwinnett county Piggly Wiggly, a single tear rolls down Melky’s cheek.

  2. Esteban says:

    I believe that pitchers are defined by single memorable games. Hence John Lackey and Jack Morris are Hall of Famers.

    I’d bet that Vazquez is more valuable than Lackey in 2010.

  3. r.w.g. says:

    What I like the most about the Lackey signing (and I could be wrong here, wouldn’t be the first time) is that it gives me the impression that the Red Sox have slipped back into reactionary mode.

    • radnom says:

      I don’t know about that, I think they had a solid offseason.

      Lackey is the same age as Burnett when he signed with the Yankees, and they both got identical deals. I actually like Burnett over Lackey going forward, but it would be an easy argument to make that Lackey has a better track record. I think that deal was pretty reasonable.

    • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura says:

      Meh, he’s a risk for sure, but they’re gambling on him being a good 2/3 starter, which could give them an ENTIRE ROTATION of a legit ace (Lester) and 2/3 starters (Beckett, Lackey, Bucholz, Gyro).

      I don’t think it’s necessarily reactionary, although it may be a bit long on the years. If it pans out, they look really smart.

      Think about it: They upgraded their rotation from Smoltz, Penny, Byrd, Wakefield, Jim Rice (no?) to Lackey, Bucholz, Wakefield, Casey Kelly, and that guy from Gilligan’s Island.

      The defense is MUCH improved and they’ll get much better production from SS and C.

      The Sox are not being reactionary; they made smart baseball moves and will be a better team in 2010.

  4. Jay at Fack Youk compared the two pitchers… and shows that the two aren’t as different as you may think.

    Fun Fact: Vazquez and Lackey do not share a single top 10 B-R.com most similar pitcher. Not a one.

  5. radnom says:

    ”You know what? It’s not going to [change a lot of opinions] because I’m really the type of guy that when I retire, I’m going to be home in Puerto Rico with my family,” Vazquez told the Sun-Times on Saturday.

    ”I’m not looking to have to change minds if people feel that way,” Vazquez said. “I won’t be paying attention to that. If I do well or if I don’t, I’ll still go home at the end of my career and be the same person.”

    I remember that quote from when that whole thing went down with the White Sox and thinking it was kind of weird. Your manager just publicly called you out before a huge series. Good god man, what would it take to get a little fired up?

    • Esteban says:

      You can see it as keeping cool in the face of adversity and not getting hung up on poor performances.

      just saying.

      • radnom says:

        If it were me, I’d have been pissed.

        • Zack says:

          And when you’re pissed and your emotions get the best of you do you perform better or worse in a given situation?

          • radnom says:

            Who is talking about performing? I was surprised by his reaction off the field.

            • Esteban says:

              I mean, yea he could have said that he was disappointed in himself and that he let down teammates or something to that effect, but I don’t really hold it against him that he didn’t.

            • Zack says:

              Ok fine, so you want him to make a big deal because Ozzie said something stupid? Ozzie Guillen. You care what Ozzie Guillen says? He was controversal the first few times he talked stupid, now he’s just stupid and everyone knows it.

    • Slugger27 says:

      being fired up is overrated… calm and even-keeled FTW!!


    • Zack says:

      He’s not allowed to get fired up, that mentality belongs in the bullpen only.

      But seriously, not all pitchers perform good if they are “fired up” and trying to prove something your ass of a manager.

    • Your manager just publicly called you out before a huge series.

      Your manager is well known around baseball for being batshit insane.

      Frankly, if Ozzie Guillen thinks you’re a bad player, that should be a plus in the book of all of us normal, non-idiotic people.

    • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura says:

      Meh, I don’t get upset when the boss of my boss sees a printer out of ink, begins to look emaciated and says something like, “Blah blah blah, earnings quarter down in the black margins of the work performance riverboat with team spirit and committed values of company hairballs, that’s why we buy ink and are proactive in changing it when need be. Blah blah blah. Why don’t you get fired up for team-building workshops blah blah; I’m a moron, blah?”

      Why? Because my boss’s boss has such limited higher level reasoning skills it’s simply not worth getting upset over.

      Most days, my cat makes more cogent points than Ozzie. Who gives a shit what Ozzie thinks about “heart” and “character”?

  6. Rose says:

    Question about Fack Youk. Do they dislike Youkilis? Do they like Youkilis? They have a picture of him with two middle fingers up. Just curious.

  7. Johnny says:

    Last season Vazquez was far better than Lackey. Boston is crazy for giving him that contract.

    • Rose says:

      Last season Vazquez was far better than Lackey. Boston is crazy for giving him that contract.

      Last season really doesn’t mean much. He was still quite good.

      Also, you’d have to say the Yankees were crazy for starting the trend with AJ Burnett’s contract I guess…who is at least more similar to Lackey than Vasquez is IMO.

    • Zack says:

      Last season they were in different leagues.

      Not any crazier than the AJ contract.

    • Slugger27 says:

      eh, i see the lackey contract as fair market

      it looks bad compared to javy, cuz we gave up practically nothing for a no. 2 pitcher with only a low-based (when given the value he provides) 1 year deal… so almost all FA signings of pitchers are gonna look bad compared to that

      dont let the awesomeness of the javy trade make u think the lackey signing was worse than it was… they are 2 different circumstances, and i think the years/commitment given to lackey was right in line with what most expected

      • And I think the Burnett contract looks better than it actually is because we’re all still in the post-coital afterglow of the 2009 title. By the end of it, we may not like the contract that much.

        Now imagine that same scenario for the Red Sox, only without any rings to show for it.

        • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura says:

          Prediction: In 2011 we’re going to look at that contract and say, “WTF, mate? Fucking kangaroos.”

        • Zack says:

          To be fair, how many big money FAs are actually worth their contract over the entire time?

          • True. Still doesn’t mean 5 years for either guy is a wise move.

            • Zack says:

              Oh agreed, 5 years for any SP over 30 is arguably not a wise move.

              • Brian says:

                7 IP, 4 hits, 1 Run, 2 walks, 9 Ks…that’s Burnett’s line from Game 2 of the World Series. He earned his 2009 salary during that game alone.

                Yes, his contract was a little exorbitant, but it was based on NEED. The Yanks needed 2 dominant starters last offseason, had the resources to get it done, and it paid off.

                • Zack says:

                  did he give his salary back after 2 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 1HR, 4 BB, 2BB?

                  1. AJ is not a dominant starter. He has dominant stuff, but is very much an up and down pitcher

                  2. its a 5 year deal, you cant earn an entire contract based on 1 year

                  3. i wanted AJ, especially over Lowe. but doesnt mean it was a good deal

        • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura says:

          Also, regarding the 2010 NY Yankees: “That team’s going to be a disaster next year. You’ll see. No one’s going to want to play there.”

          –Semi-theoretical Danny Tartabull’d

        • Ed says:

          Almost every free agent contract for an above average, pre-decline years player is for more money and/or years than you’d like to see as a fan.

          There’s only so many above average players, and the number on the free agent market is a fraction on that. They’ve got leverage, and they usually take advantage of it. A market rate contract will often look bad to the fans because of that.

  8. Nick says:

    It’s a good trade for us considering we’ll get Cliff Lee next year.

  9. pistol pete says:

    Lackey’s a better pitcher than Vazquez but the Yankees are looking for Javy to be a solid 4th starter, eat innings and get a few starts in the playoffs. He’s only got a yr left on his deal making him a steal for what the Yanks gave up even though I think you dissed Melky as a spare part when he started nearly the entire championship season for the storied Yankees as a switch hitter in cf. Lackey will be a solid 2 or 3 starter but his contract length is a risk but his playoff ceiling is higher than Javy’s has been. I’m really hoping Javy turns the corner this year in pressure games, he clearly has the talent, will get runs this year and hopefully he can clear the playoff and pressure demon like Arod did last year. Then he’d really be a steal.

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