Reassessing the Javier Vazquez trade

No A-Rod, no problem
Cashman: 'I haven't thought about' Kuroda
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Due to a quirk of the postseason schedule, the Yankees played 15 games en route to a World Series title and used just three starting pitchers. They quickly dispatched the Twins, took advantage of a rain-out against the Angels, and pushed their rotation to the limit against the Phillies before capturing the crown in six games. Because of an elongated series schedule and too many days off, the Yankees got lucky, and Brian Cashman knew they would need more pitching depth to both reach the playoffs and win in 2010.

What Cashman didn’t want to do involved Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes. He and the Yanks’ coaches seemingly had no desire to award two of the five starting spots to kids not yet 25, and after Joba faded down the stretch last year, the Yankees seemed more inclined to hand a starting position to Hughes while putting Chamberlain in the pen. They needed a fifth body to fill out the rotation, someone more reliable than Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre.

On the evening of December 21, Cashman struck. We heard rumors of a trade involving a big-name pitcher, and in the morning, that picture was revealed as none other than Javier Vazquez. In a trade involving Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn, Arodys Vizcaino and Boone Logan, the Yanks had found their starter. With a healthy skepticism of Vazquez’s previous tenure in the Bronx, we thought Cashman was taking a big gamble but ultimately saw the deal as a positive. The Yanks had a durable innings eater with a low-90s fastball coming off of a big season in Atlanta. If the stars aligned properly, Vazquez could be the aging pitcher willing to come back on a one-year deal. He would be the new Andy Pettitte. It hasn’t quite worked out as planned.

Vazquez’s first five starts were awful. He managed to win one of them but allowed 32 hits in 23 innings. He had an ERA of 9.78, had given up eight home runs and had walked 15. The Yankees then gave Vazquez some extra time off, and he rebounded in turn. From May 12 through July 10, he was arguably the Yanks best pitcher. Due to a lack of run support, he went just 6-4 but sported an ERA of 2.75. He allowed just seven home runs in 72 innings and limited opponents to a .183/.254/.315 triple slash line. All was right with the pitching world.

But then, after the All Star Break, the wheels fell off. In the second half, Vazquez is 2-2 with a 6.69 ERA/7.15 FIP. He allowed 11 home runs in 35 innings and walked 15 off of 23 strike outs. More alarming than the results were his stuff. His velocity — well below his 2009 levels — dipped to the low-to-mid 80s and hasn’t rebounded. He reported a dead-arm period a few weeks ago and has been average 85 with his fastball. Javy is only 34, and yet we’re witness to a Mike Mussina circa 2007 decline in stuff.

After his last outing in which he gave up three home runs and eight hits in three innings against a poor Mariners team, the Yankees ousted Vazquez from the rotation. For now, Ivan Nova will start, and Javy will be available in the bullpen for an indeterminate amount of time as his tries to rebuild arm strength. At some point, because Dustin Moseley can’t carry the Yanks and because Phil Hughes, now suddenly vital to the Yanks’ October chances, has an innings limit, Vazquez will be called upon to start in September. It seems however that the Yanks will stick him on the mound only begrudgingly. Right now, Javy probably wouldn’t make the postseason roster.

So then, with a month left in the season, was Cashman’s Vazquez gamble a success or a failure? Javy hasn’t been the pitcher the Yanks thought they were acquiring in terms of stuff and durability, and they’re now back where they were last September with some retreads filling out rotation spots. Yet, the Yanks didn’t give up much. Melky Cabrera, earning over $3 million, is struggling in Atlanta. While Vazquez has a -0.1 WAR, Melky is sporting a -0.5 mark. Michael Dunn is a non-factor, and, in fact, Boone Logan is a better version of Dunn. Arodys Vizcaino threw 80 innings and then injured his elbow. He has a high ceiling but is far away from reaching it. He might make the Yanks miss him; he might make the Yanks forget him.

We could call the trade a wash because the Bombers can afford Vazquez’s salary, but part of what made the deal so alluring was Javy’s Type A status. He’s still hanging onto that by a thread, but it’s hard to imagine the Yanks would offer him arbitration. He could very well accept if the Yanks are to offer it, and considering his rapid decline this year, I don’t see another team picking up Javy while sacrificing the draft picks. So then, this deal appears to hinge on Boone Logan and Arodys Vizcaino. Who would have expected that?

With a month and the playoffs remaining, I hesitate to say Javy’s been a true bust; after all, those 12 starts between May and July were a life-saver for the Yanks. But he’s been a true disappointment, and as he’s become one of the last men on the pitching staff, I can only wonder if Cashman would have made the same move had his crystal ball shown him this future.

No A-Rod, no problem
Cashman: 'I haven't thought about' Kuroda
  • Anthony Murillo

    It’s sad to see because he has tremendous stuff. I really hope he rebounds and pitches well in the post-season. It sure would be great seeing Javy celebrate a World Series Championship win in a Yankees uniform after what occured in 2004.

    • Pete

      I think it’s more accurate to say that he “had” tremendous stuff than that he “has” tremendous stuff. He’s been mostly 86-89 on the FB this year.


      • Chris

        Actually, he’s been mostly 88-91 on his FB this year. It’s just recently that he wasn’t cracking 90.

      • Miricis

        HE IS GONE! I never liked the idea of bringing him back. All we/ Yankees fans have about him are bad memories, in particular That Gram Slam by the IDIOT Damon back in 2004-WHAT A NIGHTMARE! HE MUST GO! HE IS NOT A YANKEE!

    • reverand maximus

      Anthony has the right attitude – we’re not optimistic enough. he’s a ballplayers he has ups and downs. He could even out at 4 era and 175 K’s. Javy needs some love to feel at home; he will find his stuff when confident. fans play a part in turning a guy around.

  • Troll

    Right now, Javy probably wouldn’t make the postseason roster.

    I have to agree with this, time is ticking away. With the hopeful return of a healthy Andy Pettite, and the innings limit out the window for Hughes in the playoffs, I’d take AJ as the 4th starter and roll the dice on no-hit type stuff for a night or two.

    • mike c

      i like the idea of having javy as AJ’s backup in the postseason. if bad AJ shows up, yank him early and let javy back him up.

  • Fair Weather Freddy

    I agree that its very unlikely that the Yanks offer Javy arbitration for fear he would accept it. Can’t see any team willing to forfeit a draft pick for him. Besides, with the Yanks setting their sights on Cliff Lee,they are probably looking at Lee as taking up part of Javy’s salary in the payroll with the other part offset by Pettite’s probable retirement

    • Mike Axisa

      Yeah, I can’t see anyway they can risk offering him arbitration right now. His value is in the toilet, not need to risk having him accept.

      • Joe M.

        I disagree. I don’t understand the fear of him accepting arbitration. If he does accept, it is to a non-guaranteed deal. The Yankees can just pay him his 30 day termination pay and let him go on his merry way. The risk of that termination pay is definitely worth the reward of compensation draft picks.

        • nyyfaninlaaland

          Except there’s likely no chance of the reward.

          At this point, who sacrifices a first round pick for Vasquez, and why wouldn’t he simply accept the likely much higher arb award?

          Seems like all risk, no reward.

          • steve

            probably the mets

    • eVizions

      I think the trade is only a wash if they don’t offer him arbitration. While it looks unlikely, it might not be a bad move. The question about him doesn’t seem to be about his “ability to handle NY”, but rather about his stuff. I would take the shot that if does accept, you have a 1 year gamble that it will return.

  • Mike Axisa

    The worst part of all of this is that the “Javy can’t handle New York!” crowd thinks they were right all along.

    • Steve H

      So it’s not the city of New York that has sapped his fastball of 3 MPH?


    • Ross in Jersey

      It’s a real shame, because you listen to the guy in the postgames and see how he reacts, and any sensible person can see that he’s a very likable person and a great competitor. But he’s going to be lumped into the Pavano crowd, and that’s really sad.

      • moxie

        Pavano is now pitching well. I forget what team he is on, but that really is baseball.

    • mike c

      even if they were right.. how is that the worst part of this? i’d think the disappointing performance from a cy contender last year is what most adults would be distressed about

    • Will (the other one)

      Well, technically they’re right–they just overlook the fact that Javy couldn’t handle Atlanta, Phoenix, or even Montreal right now either.

    • CBean

      I wanted him to do well here just to make that stop

  • B-Rando

    “I can only wonder if Cashman would have made the same move had his crystal ball shown him this future.”

    You have to think Cash would have never made this deal had he known Javy would drop off a cliff this dramatically.

    Luckily, Logan has been providing a nice bit of value and has provided a bright spot for this trade. Javy doesn’t need to dominate like he did May-July, he just needs to be able to compete. The amount of velocity he has lost is truly mind boggling. We’re talking about close to 10 mph from last year at this point of time.

    • Mike HC

      Quite frankly, he would have to be an idiot if he would still make the move knowing how it plays out. 130 innings of a 5.00 era could have been bested by many other far cheaper options, like Joba. And knowing Joba’s struggles in the pen this year (although he has turned it on big time) along with Hughes excellent, reliable pitching,it would have made sense to save the money and used Joba as a starter. Then use the money we paid Javy to have gotten a more reliable DH, or sured up another area of the team.

      There is so much that could have been done in hindsight, that there is too much to even go over. It is safe to say Cashman would have done something different though.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Is it fair to say that joba would have given the yankees better production than javy?

  • A.D.

    Figuring that one would probably be fine trading Javy for an injured Aroyds straight up right now, I would take that as a trade they wish they could go back to.

  • Damian

    Can’t we start calling it the “Boone Logan Trade”?

    • Not Tank the Frank

      What’s really funny is people on this site – and I was on board as well – didn’t want to see Logan on the mound in the majors at one point. He was pretty bad during the first part of the season and it’s been nice to see him rebound, step right into Marte’s shoes….and then some. He’s been great.

      • Will (the other one)

        Agreed–and in retrospect, I wouldn’t blame a single one of us for wanting that. Pre-minors Logan and post-minors Logan have been night-and-day in almost every meaningful statistic; essentially, the reasons we dreaded seeing him come out before his trip down have become the chief reasons he’s been so effective lately.

        I don’t have a clue what happened to turn Bad Boone into Good Boone, but it couldn’t have happened at a better time, and I’m with you in feeling great about it despite my earlier Boone Rage.

        • Benjamin Kabak

          Boone Logan: Great stuff, not a good development track. Maybe it’s clicked for good; maybe the Yanks are just enjoying the ride.

      • bexarama

        I think everyone was on board. He just walked way too many guys before he got sent down. Remember the anti-Boone Logan icon thing? That was really funny, actually…

        • Will (the other one)

          True enough, Bex, though the funny thing is that it seems like a lot more has changed than just the walks. Since he came back up, his BAA, SLG against, and BABIP are all way, WAY down. While I guess that could simply be a function of keeping more pitches in the strike zone, it’s not like he’s striking out a whole bunch more guys per PA than he was in his “bad” months, which makes me wonder if his improvement is related just as much to improved, more consistent, or better-located stuff. I wish I were better at reading PitchFX so I could try and see if there were something to this, but unfortunately I’m a total dunce when it comes to those charts.

          • bexarama

            Oh, agreed. And I’m terrible at analyzing PitchFX and stuff, though I guess you’d just look to see if maybe before, he was throwing meatballs at the belt and whatnot? But again, I’m really bad at PitchFX analysis.

            • RL

              And of course, PitchFX doesn’t show you if the pitch actually wne to the location it was supposed to, so you can’t even get the whole picture from there.

    • Mike HC

      Funny that at the time, the consensus, if not everybody, here was the Logan was a complete non factor. Cashman obviously did not see it that way, as he stayed patient through Logan’s struggles, and now we are getting the pay off.

  • Mike HC

    I enjoyed going back and reading all the thoughts and reactions to the trade at the time. Some of my thoughts at the time:

    “As for Javy, he did have his best year ever last year, so maybe the guy is truly improving or figured something out. While his recent AL past show that an ERA of above 4.5 is quite possible, if not probable, hopefully we get him on a good year. Keep your fingers crossed.”

    Melky and Dunn can be replaced in a blink of an eye, and probably upgraded at that. I don’t know anything about the third pitcher, but he is only 19, and would probably be 4 years away from actually making any impact at all in the majors. Javy is not that good, but we got him on a one year deal.”

    I think I still have just about the same feelings on the trade. The way it worked out was not unexpected, I just think we all thought it could have worked out better.

    • bexarama

      Yeah, I did too. Except it was kinda sad. I dunno if I was posting here at the time, but I basically thought there was no way he was going to replicate 2009, but he’d give us lots of innings with a bunch of strikeouts and not that many walks. It obviously hasn’t happened. It’s a shame, and it was really nice to see him pitching so well for that period of time, but when he’s been bad, he’s been terrible.

      From the article:
      I can only wonder if Cashman would have made the same move had his crystal ball shown him this future.
      He obviously wouldn’t or rather, he probably would’ve gone after someone totally different because I don’t think they were going with Hughes and Joba in the rotation. But hindsight is hindsight.

  • Not Tank the Frank

    Maybe I’m a wide-eyed optimist…but something in me says Javy will turn it around in time for the postseason. There’s still a good ways left to go and he’s shown that all it takes is one good relief outing to get himself going. Couple that with some much needed rest, in my opinion, and you have to feel good about at least improving a good deal down the stretch.

    If that turns out to be the case, I’d be comfortable matching him up against Niemann/Davis or Tommy Hunter.

    • Mike HC

      I agree that Javy could turn it around. He proved he could succeed at pitching 88-90, and it is not that hard to believe he can get back to that velocity with some rest. Whether he starts in the playoffs even if he can turn it around is another story. I don’t see how he jumps CC, Pettitte, AJ and Hughes, assuming things stay the same and Pettitte is healthy.

      • Mark

        I’ve got to agree!! No idea why but something tells me he will turn it around, he gets his rest now and comes in as the long man. Someone (i.e. AJ) has a terrible first couple of innings, gets pulled then Javy can come in and pitch a stellar 6 or however many inningss. Just something about me either thinks (or wants) him to succeed.

  • BG90027

    I wonder if he’s hurt and not telling anyone again. I still believe in the logic of the trade and wouldn’t even call it a loss in retrospect given Boone Logan’s 2nd half and the diminished likelihood of Arodys reaching his ceiling. That said, if I had a crystal ball that showed you not only what you’d get out of Vasquez but also the kind of season Hughes would have, I think I’d have been against the trade and for putting both Hughes and Joba in the rotation. That’s only with the benefit of hindsight though, I think Cashman was right in not wanting to risk going with both in the rotation. If you knew Hughes was going to be as good as he has been, that wouldn’t have been an issue.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      I think he’s definitely telling people he’s not right. He admitted to pitching with a dead arm. It just depends if it’s truly only a dead arm or something worse.

      • Will (the other one)

        Agreed. Javy doesn’t seem like he’s been shy about letting people know he’s got a problem–as Ben says, the only question is whether he and the team have the right diagnosis or if something deeper’s going on. But whatever the actual problem is, it’s pretty clear he’s been forthcoming about what he’s feeling instead of trying to “suck it up” and keep the issue hidden, and I applaud him for it.

      • Chris

        The one thing that would concern me long term is that his velocity has dropped each year since 2007. Obviously, this last couple starts could be just a dead arm, but his velocity all season has been down.

      • BG90027

        I know he said that. He also said something to the effect of maybe all those innings have just added up and had an impact on his stuff. I was trying to make a distinction between a tired/dead arm and an undisclosed injury that might require more than just rest. It is complete speculation and I wouldn’t have brought it up if not for his having pitched through undisclosed injuries his last time in pinstripes. It just seems odd to me that his velocity and stuff would decline so much year to year without a better explanation for it.

    • Ted Nelson

      “diminished likelihood of Arodys reaching his ceiling”

      Certainly an elbow issue isn’t a good thing, but Arodys was helping his prospect status before the injury. He hasn’t hit AA yet, but his realistic ceiling has to be about as high as any Yankees pitching prospect. His probability takes a nice hit from the injury, but I’d still put him up there with most top Yankees arms (Brackman and Dellin have injury concerns of their own, plus Brackman is old with average production… Banuelos is tiny…). I’m not crying because they traded Arodys, but I feel like people are writing him off too much.

  • Tank Foster

    I try not to evaluate trades with the retrospectoscope. Some players have bad years…..he had a very, very good stretch, between two bad ones.

    You have to weigh the trade against other options, and I think in that lens, it still was a good trade.

    I also disagree on him making the postseason roster. I think he will, for flexibility at the least.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      I think it all depends on how the next month plays out. Not only with his performance, but with the performances of Pettitte, Hughes, Burnett, Nova, and Aceves.

      It’s very fluid at the moment. He may end up being one of our top 11 pitchers, he may not.

      (Sorry for sounding a bit like Joe Morgan there.)

      • Benjamin Kabak

        So basically what you’re saying is that time will tell?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          I’m saying I think time will tell, but there’s no way of knowing that yet.

          • Klemy

            Now THAT sounded like Joe Morgan. lol

  • CapitalT

    I think they can offer Vaz arbitration.

    Cashman would have to make it clear that if Vaz accepted, his role in 2011 would be middle relief, killing his potential post 2011 earnings.

    The risk to Vaz would be if he could make more in his 1 year arbitration contract plus a low contract as he tried to rebuild his value in 2012 versus signing a 2 year deal with some National League team.

    Cashman would be playing a high stakes game of chicken but I think it would be worth the risk to get 2 picks in a deep draft especially when they will probably lose their first pick by signing Cliff Lee

    • Mike Axisa

      Telling him his 2011 role will be middle relief will not hurt his earning power in arbitration at all. It’s still based on the previous year’s salary and adjusted according.

      • CapitalT

        It wouldn’t hurt his 2011 amount which I would guess would be a raise over 2010 because the arbitration process is flawed, but pitching in middle relief for the 2011 season would crush his hope for a decent contract in 2012.

        • Zack

          And how much is he getting in FA this year- 5m maybe, if he can pass a physical.
          Getting 12m in arbitration is probably more than he can get as a FA this year and next year combined.

        • Reggie C.

          How again does having Vaz pitch middle relief and eat innings from Aceves while earning +13 mm help the Yankees?

          • Zack

            I think he means the threat will force Javy to decline arbitration.

            • CapitalT

              That is exactly what I meant

      • Jake

        I think he meant becoming a middle reliever in 2011–if he accepted arbitration–would diminish any longer term contract he got starting in 2012. Essentially, the Yanks would take the risk that Javy would turn down arbitration to remain a starter (so he could keep getting paid like a starter beyond 2011).

        • Reggie C.

          I’d be surprised if Vaz got more than the veteran’s minimum nxt season if he turned down arb. The only reason he’d turn down arb would be if he genuinely hated pitching in theis environment.

      • Damian

        I think what CapitalT meant is not that it would hurt his earning power in arbitration, but in free agency after a year of middle relief with the Yankees. It’s a far-fetched idea, and definitely a high stakes game of chicken, but an interesting one nonetheless.

  • Carlosologist

    I was on board with the Javy deal, and I defended him as he struggled in the early season. It’s getting tougher to defend him as the thousands of innings he’s logged appear to be catching up with him. He may never recover from the dead arm. But before all the Javy haters act like dicks and say they were right all along, you have to think of what we could have done. If we don’t make the trade, we probably would have gone to FA and picked someone up. All those options seem to have burned out for the season.

    Sheets – Out for the season with another elbow issue
    J-Douche – Out with a hip issue.
    Piniero – Out with an oblique strain
    Penny – lolno but out with a back issue

    Unless Cash wanted to completely drain the farm and acquire a big gun like Grienke or Cain, he could have signed any of those guys and watched them burn out. But he didn’t. He went out and got Vazquez to suck up innings at the back end. It hasn’t really worked out, but here’s to Javy being dominant in the postseason in the bullpen.

    • bexarama

      Yeah, a lot of people wanted to gamble on Sheets + keep Arodys. That’s fair enough, but a. on other sites, these people are also raging about the Nick Johnson signing; b. if you wanted Sheets and you’re going to hindsight GM and gloat about how badly Javy’s doing, don’t act like your idea would’ve worked out very well either.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “but a. on other sites, these people are also raging about the Nick Johnson signing;”

        I wasn’t crazy about the Javy deal, and I would have preferred to have kept Arodys and grabbed one of the other options on the FA market (see the original Javy-trade post, linked above). I was definitely not on other sites raging about the Nick Johnson signing.

        “b. if you wanted Sheets and you’re going to hindsight GM and gloat about how badly Javy’s doing, don’t act like your idea would’ve worked out very well either.”

        Anyone in this thread doing that?

        Look, I get that there are annoying fans out there, but the preemptive bitching and moaning about things people aren’t actually saying is silly. You’re making up stuff and acting like there’s an army of people saying that stuff. And for all I know, there are people saying that stuff elsewhere, but if that’s the case, go argue with them where they’re saying it, don’t bring it up here as if the people here are saying those things.

        • bexarama

          Except I said it was on other sites and I in no way meant to imply it was here.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Whatever. Just seems like you’re building up straw-men so you can argue against them.

    • Zack

      You can add Harden, Bedard and Millwood.
      And John Lackey and his leading the majors in Hits/9

      Did any offseason SP acquisition work besides Lee/Halladay? Watch people will complain why they didn’t sign Garland

      • bexarama

        Hey, Pettitte was a FA. ;)

    • Paul Canales

      You’re right. Even with his season being a big disappointment, we could say he was a better option than anybody else that was avaiable.

    • joe

      We could have had Brett Myers who is having a good season with the Astros. He had schooled Vazquez and even pitched well against a good hitting team like the Yankees this year.

  • Brad Toughy

    Of course it’s simple to look back at a trade after the fact and judge whether someone should or shouldn’t have made a deal.

    But at the time, it was a smart move for Brian Cashman and he was lauded for getting a guy coming off a Cy Young caliber season for two spare parts and an ultra-developmental prospect.

    Javy’s been some good and some terrible this year, but of course Brian Cashman wouldn’t have targeted Vazquez if he knew his velocity would dip significantly and he’s be a below league average pitcher that he’d have to pay $11.5 million this year.

    No GM has a crystal ball and therefore has to determine which course of action to take with the facts that he has available at the time. Eight months ago the trade made sense and was a good move. It hasn’t worked out exactly the way he hoped, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad move at the time.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      “But at the time, it was a smart move for Brian Cashman and he was lauded for getting a guy coming off a Cy Young caliber season for two spare parts one spare part and an ultra-developmental prospect.”

      You can’t include Dunn as part of the Vazquez deal cost, because Dunn is offset by Logan. They’re a wash; the deal is essentially Melky and Arodys for Vazquez. (And Melky’s barely relevant either.)

    • eVizions

      That’s a pretty good way to look at it. We got a damn good pitcher for some spare parts and a low-level prospect. I think Cash would make that deal every time.

  • yankthemike

    the way the season has unfolded, and the way Boone has found himself i would have traded Melky for him straight up.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      I’d trade Melky and Dunn for Boone straight up, no questions asked.

      • bexarama

        Even before the season? I wouldn’t have done that. Melky might be basically a fourth outfielder, but he’s a very good fourth outfielder (if there is such a thing.). Even though he has magical left-hand throwing powers, Boone didn’t have a very good track record and he’s just a relief pitcher.

        Of course, Melky’s gone on to have a pretty much terrible year and Logan’s been excellent since coming back from the minors. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t.

        • eVizions

          I would call him a decent fourth outfielder, not a very good one. He’s proving to everyone else what we already knew – he’s a good defensive player with a below-average bat. Those type of players are a dime a dozen. Austin Kearns is a very good fourth outfielder… of course someone might give him a starting spot next year, so he might not be a fourth outfielder for long.

          • Dick Whitman

            Agreed. Austin Kearns is a good 4th OFer. Melky Cabrera is not.

  • nsalem

    Not giving up on Javy. The rest may do him good. Six weeks to the playoffs (if we make it). The landscape can change so much in 42 days.
    6 weeks ago Javy was just fine and everyone was worried about Hughes, everyone was cheering Logan’s demotion and hoping they would never see him again. Now Hughes seems to be our number 2 starter until Andy comes back and Logan is getting the love. It’s okay to speculate, but this trade can not be properly and fairly evaluated until the season is over.

  • Reggie C.

    I’m not sure when Vaz gets to throw again against live ML competition (vs. side work), but I wouldnt be surprised if he was done for at least the rest of August.

  • Uncle Mike

    If the Yankees reach the postseason, which seems very likely, it will be in part due to games that Vazquez has won. Chances are, he won’t pitch much in the postseason. But if we get there, then he helped, and the trade was a success.

    Now, if he does in the 2010 postseason what Jeff Weaver and Jose Contreras did in the 2003 postseason, then… at the rate New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road are going, we might not even be able to run him out of town on a rail!

    • Klemy

      I’d nearly forgotten about 2003. Damn it!

  • Ted Nelson

    Great analysis. Very thorough and fair.

    Arodys is still far away, but it might have helped to mention he tore up the SALLY league before getting to A+ ball at 19 years old… Were he not traded he’d be right there as the team’s 2nd or even T-1st best pitching prospect and probably around top 5 in the organization… Like I said I liked the piece, but just didn’t like mentioning that he got hurt as if it were a lost season without mentioning how dominant he was early in the season.

    • Zak

      I agree that it was a good trade for both sides but a lot of people are selling Vizcaino short. A lot of the mid season prospect rankings had him rated as a Top 25 prospect in all of baseball and would have been the Yankees best pitching prospect. 2nd best prospect overall to Montero. Before getting hurt he had posted a 2.71 ERA with 77 K’s to 12 BB in 83 IP

      Dunn also while only being a throw in has done well for Atlanta. In AAA he posted a 1.00 ERA in 45 IP with 61 K’s before being called up to Atlanta where he’s been scoreless in 9 innings

  • Dillon

    Can I make a request that the RAB guys do a review of cashmans moves, and answer the question, “Considering the $200+ million he has access to, is he a good GM?”

    I’m not bringing this up to bash Cashman over the Javy trade, but it does make me wonder. ….for every nick swisher and bobby abreau move, there seems to be an inversely terrible move like Kei Igawa, trading Jose Contreras too quickly for nothing, Pavano, Jeff Weaver. Is it just me, or is he right about helf the time on his moves? Is that acceptable?

    Sure, anyone can open the yankee pocketbook for the CC’s, Matsui’s, Damon, Texiera, etc. Anyone can offer the best free agent the most amount of money. It’s the trades that make me question cashman. i just don’t see a guy that’s right more than half the time, and with our financial leverage in most of these trades, he should be on the winning side much more often than that.

    • Hightops

      I think many of Cashman’s “mistakes” are mistakes any other GM would make, they were also good moves at the very heart of the issue. Just to cover some of the points you’ve made:

      – Javy trade was good on the surface. The FA options were dismal at best, and Javy has helped out and came cheap in terms of prospects. Coming off a spectacular season, if he was half as good as 2009 it was a slam dunk. Things don’t always work out like they do on paper (which is why they play the games).

      -Swisher was the starting First Basemen until Texieria came aboard. That could have also been a silly trade, had Xavier Nady not went down.

      -To my knowledge, and I don’t know how true this to be, once the Yankees lost out on Daisuke the late George Steinbrenner wanted Cash to go after Kei Igawa. Igawa was a strikeout machine in Japan, had peripherals similar to Roger Clemens (older Clemens), and 1/4th the price. Igawa’s big contract is mostly his posting fee, and in terms of money owed is fairly low. Came with a number of years, and had he been decent would have been the steal of the century (in terms of years and money).

      -Jeff Weaver still confuses me. I know they wanted to have a young, up and coming Ace pitcher for years. Just bet on the wrong horse. Even good GMs do that.

      -Pavano was a spectacular pitcher, no heart. He gave the Yankees a discount and was a lockdown post-season pitcher. Who else was even available that off-season either? If you’re going into a season looking for pitching, how could you argue with Cashman for signing the best FA pitcher?

      Some trades Cashman makes to assume money, actually helps baseball as well as helping themselves. Should the Astros have to keep Lance Berkman on their roster, pay him the rest of the season and get nothing in return? They get minimal salary relief from the Yankees and some prospects. The Indians really wanna pay Kerry Wood or Austin Kearns for the rest of the year? At least big salary teams can make big contracts sting a little less by taking the money.

      Hope someone reads this and reacts, I really am interested in what people think about Cashman as a GM.

  • Dick Whitman

    Since he’s come up on this thread, I’m going to take this moment to reaffirm to everyone who argued that Melky Cabrera is/was a good major league baseball player:

    Melky Cabrera sucks.

    • Brad Toughy

      Agreed. He is not as someone put it “a very good 4th outfielder”

      • bexarama

        That was me. I don’t particularly think Melky is any good but what is peoples’ definition of a fourth outfielder?

  • Chris F

    Place him on waivers…maybe we could get something out of him

  • Kurt

    This analysis is faulty because it devalues Melky based on his performance with the Braves. Melky was a good outfielder who hit well in the clutch for the Yankees – unlike both Granderson and Gardner. The Yankees could have kept him and added an affordable free agent like Jon Garland (who’s currently 13-8 albeit in the NL). Even retreads such as Mosely have outpitched Javy. Call it what it is so far – a disaster.

  • Tomas

    Mike Dunn a non-factor. Do you’re homework man, he didn’t allow a run in the majors this year, He has an ERA of exactly 1.00 in AAA Gwinett. Boone Logan in the other hand is going for his second arbitrational year, and this is his first season where he actually has his ERA under 4.

    Vazquez is earning 12 million. I know you’re a Yankees fan and finances don’t really concern you, but in case you’re wondering that’s extremely overprice for what he has done this year. And even though Melky is a 4th outfielder at best, he is doing exactly what he was expected to do, suck with a 270 average 3 homers and 30-40 doubles. Turner field is not Yankee stadium, meaning Yankee stadium is obviously a bang box.

    Like you said Aroldys has a high ceiling, but he got an elbow injury and got shut down.

  • Bluelove

    For better or for worse, u can never go wrong when acquiring pitching. However, Javy has been terrible, but I must say Burnett has been far worse this year, and he’s costing more cheddar!!!! Javy will bounce back after some rest, but burnett just can’t find the plate consistently!!!!

  • NYYFanNowInATL

    I hate to say it after only one start….but after seeing his stuff and demeanor, I’d trust Nova as the #4 in a playoff series over Javy OR AJ! I’d even be more inclined to see Dustin out there. At least he keeps the Yankees in the game!

    All that being said, kicking the tires on Kuroda isn’t a bad idea either. If the Dodgers are just looking for a salary dump…and they should be…and he clears down to the Yankees, they should jump on him.

  • John F

    I don’t care what Javy Vazquez does…the beauty of this trade was getting Melky Cabrera off the roster. No more fooling around with Cano and no more crap at bats. I knew Brett Gardner could do what Melky could do and then some. Just because Melky batted 450 times with men all over the base paths and ran into a couple last year doesn’t make him a better player than Gardner. Gardner has no power, but his at bats, the way he works the pitcher, the runs he scores (I’ll bet he’s already scored more runs than Cabrera did last year without looking), the better defensive routes to the baseball, the stolen bases, the intensity…oh and he’s third in the league in OF assists…something Melky’s backers were always harping on. The trade was Melky for Boone Logan. So far we’ve got a steal on our hands and it was addition by subtraction. Melky will be out of both leagues inside of five years…mark my words…




    vazquez is the best in the game just look last year numbers….all this about is piching coach and everybody is talking about this vazquez need to get out of that team becuase they dont know what they doing

  • Mr. Jones

    Just as Ozzie Guillen said in reference to Javy Vazquez ” He has no cojones”. He has no teeth, no balls. Whenever he gets into trouble you can actually see him start to choke. I want nothing to do with Javy “Blastquez” in the postseason, Jason Varitek sans steriods could hit a 600 ft home run off of him. I’ve hated Javy every since 2004 and that hatred has only increased with time. He’s a chump stain that should never ever ever come into a postseason game unless it’s to bring ARod a cool refreshing beverage.

  • Avi

    Anybody who needed till August to figure out that Vazquez was a bad acquisition clearly wasn’t following the Yankees in ’04. Cashman traded for Vazquez while another pitcher name Curt Shcilling was available; Arguably the single biggest move that contributed to the yankees loosing to Boston in ’04.
    Vazquez was so bad that Cashman and the yanks had to pay the D-backs millions of dollars just to take him and his $45 million contract off their hands. A contract that BTW Cashman gave him before he ever threw a pitch for the yankees!
    Even if Vazquez wasn’t a Yankee catastrophe it still wouldn’t have made any sense. I mean a right handed, EXTREME fly ball pitcher is not exactly the type a guy you want making HALF his starts in Yankee stadium. Furthermore, he’s a career .500 pitcher. So while it would have been possible for him to have an effective season (OUT OF yankee stadium) he was just as likely to pull off a stinker as he had done for the D-backs and White Sox in three separate recent seasons (’05,’06 and ’08). Vazquez was an AWFUL acquisition even if the Braves had given him for FREE (no players back).
    Think about this my fellow Yankee Faithful; Cashman is paying $19 million this season to Vazquez, nick johnson, Chan Ho (out of the) Park and randy winn. Not to mention the $10 mil he’s paying Kei Igawa to have a 5.50 ERA in Triple A.
    I know Yankee fans that are twelve years old that could’ve spent that money more effectively.
    Pavano, jaret wright, kei igawa, letting Pettitte go after ’03 in favor of kevin brown; Vazquez part one, Vazquez part two, Randy Johnson, trading ted lilly for jeff weaver..