Lackey vs. Vazquez

2009 Yankees didn't fare well in one-run games, blowouts
A-Rod's 500th home run ball sells for $103,579

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.

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2009 Yankees didn't fare well in one-run games, blowouts
A-Rod's 500th home run ball sells for $103,579
  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    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.

    • Esteban

      Did Melky bring Marey Carey with him to Atlanta?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Can you see Mary Carey hanging out in Atlanta for extended stretches of time? She’s not some common skank, you know… she’s a noteworth skank. She has a reputation to uphold.

        Melky’s gonna have to go dumpster diving at Atlanta area Hooters with Larry Wayne nowadays.

        • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

          I once hooked up with a waitress from an Atlanta-area Waffle House. Never again.

          • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

            Didn’t get beyond 2B (a double?), but let me just say she looked like one of those girls on Faces of Meth.

            Could have been on account of the meth.

            Hrmm…

            • Marcus

              Living up to your handle, and I’m enjoying it. Nicely done.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_Peck Templeton “Brendog” Peck

            i bet the whole no teeth part felt good though, amirite?

            • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

              While they weren’t in great condition, she did have teeth. It was dark (sister worked in Atlanta at CNN, so we went to a bar) so I wasn’t totally clear, but there were sores on her face, she looked older than she claimed to be (said she was 24), and worked at a freakin’ Waffle House.

              Had to be meth or the worst-case Proactive infomercial ever.

      • Rose

        I wonder if she’d have to bring her mother…who once went on a date with Gary “The Retard” from The Howard Stern Show. I’m guessing that she has to take care of her seeing as she is also mentally retarded.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          (fighting the urge to make a Sarah Palin “retard” controversy reference)

  • Esteban

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Are you including 2010 salary and 2011 free agency in that calculation of value?

      Because neither on-field outcome (Lackey outpitching Vazquez, Vazquez outpitching Lackey, or the two in a dead heat) would surprise me; they’re both good pitchers in their own respect.

      The fact that we’re paying Vazquez 7M less (and thus have 7M more to reinvest in the team elsewhere) and that we’re not on the hook for his future age seasons makes it a slam-dunk for Vazquez, though, in terms of net team value.

      • Esteban

        I was thinking in terms of WAR, but including salaries, it wouldn’t be that difficult for Vazquez to be a better ‘value.’

      • pat

        Not to mention the possible FA compensation we would receive should Javy bounce after the season.

        • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

          Andy in Sunny Daytona just popped wood at the thought of that.

      • Rose

        The fact that we’re paying Vazquez 7M less (and thus have 7M more to reinvest in the team elsewhere) and that we’re not on the hook for his future age seasons makes it a slam-dunk for Vazquez, though, in terms of net team value.

        When compared head-to-head I agree. But in an argument with a Sox fan (usually the only other time this would come up) they could easily say “well you have the same issues with AJ Burnett…”

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          And you could easily say, “Why did your parents have the same last name before they got married?”

          • hikker

            BUUURRRNN.

        • Guest

          I do have to say, the clause that the Sox have where if a pitcher who has missed 25% of each of the past two seasons has an elbow injury, they get a 6th year tacked on for the league minimum is kind of interesting.

          • Zack

            not for an elbow injury, for elbow surgery.
            then he’ll pitch for them when he’s 36 for ~500k

            • Guest

              Ah OK. That is a big difference. Thanks, although I do still feel there is considerable risk for TJ surgery, possibly as soon as this year.

    • bexarama

      you forgot Don Larsen

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        I’ll never forget Sid Bream’s dramatic play in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS.

        Sid Bream belongs in the Hall.

  • r.w.g.

    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

      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

      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.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    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.

    • Zack

      They do that by career numbers right? Any chance Javy’s dreadful seasons at 21/22 affect the similar pitcher chart? (Without those 2 years his ERA+ is averaged to 115 for his career; Lackey is 117 IIRC)

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Probably.

    • Slugger27

      why would they? theyre on opposite spectrums of clutchness and grit

      lackeys constant scowl adds half a win per season, minimum

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Vazquez’s Puertoricanness subtracts a corresponding half-win as well.

  • radnom


    ”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

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

      just saying.

      • radnom

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

        • Zack

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

          • radnom

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

            • Esteban

              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

              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

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

      //sandman’d

    • Zack

      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.

      • hikker

        What was said about Joba when he let his emotiom show?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      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.

      • radnom

        True. I would have some different words were I in that situation, but I would imagine that playing for Ozzie for more than a few months would eventually numb you to his bullshit.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Vazquez: Yeah, Ozzie was going on and on about how I never paid attention to him or something, I don’t know, I wasn’t listening.

          • bexarama

            Didn’t Ozzie say something at the 2006 ASG like “I wish I had a daughter so Derek Jeter could f-ck her?” TRAUMATIZED FOR LIFE

            • king of fruitless hypotheticals

              Ozzie: Mo is awesome, now I know what it feels like to have a reliever like this!

              Ozzie’s Closer: Um…coach…sniff sniff…

    • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

      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”?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        I secretly want Melky Cabrera to end up a White Sock.

        Those two huevos-loving hijodeputas are made for each other. Melky would be his favorite player EVER.

  • Rose

    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.

    • Slugger27

      they despise youkilis, just like the rest of us

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        I don’t despise Youkilis. I love him.

        He was an important step in the evolutionary process. Without him, we’d all still be hunter-gatherers with no hot meals to eat.

        • Esteban

          Yes, he was the intermediate species homo-youkilis coming immediately after Cro-Magnon.

          Source: The internet

        • king of fruitless hypotheticals

          dude, i love cooked food. its ok if its cold, i just want it to have BEEN cooked.

          cold pizza.
          bread.
          brownies.
          pasteurized milk.

          May Mo’s blessing (and Joba’s FB) be upon Youk’d head.

  • http://mlbnewsrumors.com Johnny

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

    • Rose

      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

      Last season they were in different leagues.

      Not any crazier than the AJ contract.

      • Esteban

        Completely different leagues, you can’t compare them.

        incorrectmeme’d

    • Slugger27

      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

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        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

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

          • bexarama

            Not when we’re coming off #29.

          • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

            Hmm, I don’t think that early. The last two years could be ugly, though.

            • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

              It’s just a prediction. I expect him to have major surgery in 2011. I don’t have a crystal ball, and I have no empirical data beyond his checkered injury history. Hunch (isn’t that a funny word?).

        • Zack

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

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

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

            • Zack

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

              • Brian

                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

                  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

          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

          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.

  • Nick

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

  • pistol pete

    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.

    • Dave

      playoff ceiling?

      Is that a new Bill James stat?