Yankees call off deal with The Viz

Via Joel Sherman, the Yankees “got out” of their minor league contract with reliever Luis Vizcaino after the righty blew out his Achilles in winter ball. Last month we heard that The Viz broke his ankle and would be out three or four months, but apparently the injury was more serious than originally thought. Vizcaino could have earned $750,000 if he made the club, albeit an unlikely scenario, but now he’s probably out for the year. The Yanks have a small army of pitchers in camp on minor league deals, so there’s little, if any, loss of depth here.

Luis Vizcaino out 3-4 months with broken ankle

Via Enrique Rojas, righty reliever Luis Vizcaino will be out for the next three-to-four months after breaking his left ankle in winter ball. No, this isn’t a flashback post from 2007, the Yankees signed The Viz to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training last month. He was always a long shot to make the club and was not much more than Triple-A depth, but now he’s an even longer shot. Add in the Rafael Soriano signing, and well it doesn’t look too good for the The Viz at all. He hasn’t pitched in the big league since ’09 and hasn’t been effective since leaving the Yankees after that ’07 season.

Report: Yanks ink Luis Vizcaino to a minor league deal

Around an hour ago, we heard some rumblings out of the Dominican Republic that the Yanks had signed Luis Vizcaino to a one-year, $1.8 million deal. That rumor didn’t make sense, as Vizcaino, 36, had missed all of the 2010 season. But the Viz will be returning to the Yanks at least for Spring Training. As Marc Carig confirmed, the Yanks signed Vizcaino to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite. If he makes the team, he’ll earn $750,000.

Vizcaino, an 11-year veteran, spent the 2007 season on the Yanks. He went 8-2 with a 4.30 ERA in 75.1 innings and made a whopping 77 appearances en route to being Torre’d. He took the ball just 43 times in 2008 and only 15 times in 2009 before finding himself unemployed for 2010. A recent report on MLB.com said that he had “re-kindled new interest with his effectiveness in the Dominican Winter League.” During the DWL, he has thrown 11.2 innings, giving up one run on six hits and three walks while striking out 11. He’s allowed just one hit in his last nine appearances, and with Tony Peña as his manager, he has a close connection to the Yanks. This is a low-risk, medium-reward move, but I’m not going to expect too much from Vizcaino.

Vizcaino to the Rox?

Tim at MLB Trade Rumors speculates that The Viz may have reached an agreement with the Rockies. If true, the Yanks would get a sandwich round draft pick as compensation, and depending on where some remaining free agents sign, this pick could be as high as #39 overall. At worst it will be #46. So basically it boils down to this: the Yanks traded Vizcaino to the Rockies for LaTroy Hawkins, a draft pick between #39 and 46 overall, and about $8-10M in salary relief. Sweet deal.

Cashman for a day, fool for a lifetime

The Boss has spoken, and Cashman and Torre are safe for the time being. This may be upsetting to some, but it’s a relief for others. The Yankees head to Texas in tact, in search of a few wins (with Phil Hughes‘s’ first as a collateral gain).

This doesn’t mean, however, that there won’t be any shakeups. There are a few roster moves that could be made over the next few weeks that will completely alter the team’s game plan headed into the season. But that’s the beautify of baseball: the season is long, so if your initial plan fails, there’s still time to tinker with it and create something that works. And when you have a bank account like the Yanks, changing courses becomes that much easier.

Before any moves are made, questions must be asked. Is this person going to work out? Are we dealing with too small a sample size to make a decision? If we don’t unload this person now, what are the possible ramifications down the road? And on and on. We’re all pretty familiar with the team’s shortcomings right now, so let’s get down to it.

Mike Myers
Most want him DFA’d, and I can’t disagree. Myers’s job is to get out tough lefties, but he’s been more of a mop up man this year — and there’s been tons of mopping to do. And, when he has been summoned to get a lefty out, he hasn’t been at the top of his game (though an Ortiz double and the Crawford slam are the only ones standing out in my mind).

There is little reason to carry Myers on the roster. Even though the numbers say he’s been better against righties this year, once again we’re faced with a tiny sample size. If he returns to his career norms, he’ll lose value as a mop-up man. And merely having a LOOGY on staff is a questionable practice, especially for a contenting team like the Yanks.

The solution: DFA him and call up Chris Britton. He’ll be able to work in higher leverage situations than Myers without giving the entire Stadium a heart attack. Britton handled his own in the AL East last year. He’s only pitched seven innings this year, and could definitely use the work. This is an easy to execute and smart move. In the words of California’s governor: Do it! Do it now!

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