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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yankees land Javier Vazquez

Klawing their way over the top…

Javier Vazquez is coming back to the Bronx.

The Daily News has learned that the Yankees will acquire the righthanded pitcher from the Braves along with lefthanded reliever Boone Logan, sending Melky Cabrera, lefty Mike Dunn and another minor leaguer to the Braves…

Cabrera’s departure leaves the Yankees with a gaping hole in left field, potentially re-opening the door for a return by Johnny Damon.

The District Attorney Posted: December 22, 2009 at 02:58 PM | 685 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, yankees

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   1. MM1f Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:15 PM (#3419477)
Ugh.
   2. hokieneer Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:15 PM (#3419478)
is Mike Dunn really that good?
   3. Dale Sams Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:16 PM (#3419480)
The Melk Man delivereth no longer.
   4. xanthan Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:16 PM (#3419483)
Someone tell me something about Dunn. Great K/9's in the minors but his BB/9's are ugly.
   5. bressonian Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:19 PM (#3419485)
Supposedly Arodys Vizcaino is the PTBNL, which makes the deal much easier to justify for ATL.
   6. Banta Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:20 PM (#3419486)
I have no idea who the other prospect is, but I can't imagine he'll make it worth it for the Braves.

EDIT: Nevermind! Still don't really like it from a Braves perspective. Unless they think that Vazquez's arm is about to fall off.
   7. APNY Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:20 PM (#3419487)
Vizcaino has big upside, but a long path of health and performance to go. Dunn has absolutely no control. Melky is Melky (and heading to arb?). Still, after what Philly got for Lee.

I assume Vazquez will be a Type A. Sweet move, though I'm sure we'll hear "can't pitch in NY" crap over the next few days.
   8. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:20 PM (#3419488)
The Melk Man delivereth no longer.


Did Sterling have a go-to phrase for Vazquez that he'll now dust off? If so, and the word "Nagila" factors into it, they'll be fishing me out of the East River in 20 minutes.
   9. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:20 PM (#3419490)
I'm not wild about this move. Although part of that is my somewhat sentimental fondness for Melky and my visceral distaste for Home Run Javy.
   10. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:20 PM (#3419491)
Wow. Looks like another awesome move for the Yankees. If they fill LF with Holliday, they'll look pretty unstoppable. I mean, more unstoppable than they already are. Which is a lot of unstoppability.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:21 PM (#3419492)
What in the holy living ####? I thought the Braves were trying to win.

####### Cashman.
   12. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:23 PM (#3419499)
What in the holy living ####? I thought the Braves were trying to win.
The Braves have been looking to move one of Vazquez or Lowe for several weeks now.

I have no idea who the other prospect is, but I can't imagine he'll make it worth it for the Braves.
Vizcaino was the Yankees' #3 prospect according to BA.
   13. Banta Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:23 PM (#3419500)
we'll hear "can't pitch in NY" crap over the next few days.

Hey, Vazquez made his only All Star game when he was a Yankee!

And then proceeded to suck ass for the rest of the season.
   14. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:23 PM (#3419501)
Argh. I'll come around to this, because everyone else seems to think its a good deal. But I won't be happy about it. Argh.
   15. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:24 PM (#3419502)
####. Is this really all it takes to get a guy like Vazquez these days? The Yankees must be assuming the whole contract.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: MLB's economic system foments imbalance. A checked-and-balanced cap/floor system would be much better than this. Saying this as a Red Sox fan who would like to see what Theo could do with a level playing field, and who wants competition.
   16. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:24 PM (#3419503)
Melky and a couple of lottery tickets? :-P
   17. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:25 PM (#3419505)
Saying this as a Red Sox fan who would like to see what Theo could do with a level playing field

You had better duck.
   18. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:25 PM (#3419506)
Is this a salary dump? There's no way that even post-arb, Melky makes anything like Javy money.

RB, I suspect that your sentiment is getting the better of you. I like Melky too, but I think this is almost certainly an upgrade, and is potentially a bonanza.
   19. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:25 PM (#3419507)
Argh. I'll come around to this, because everyone else seems to think its a good deal. But I won't be happy about it. Argh.

Come around to it. It's great deal.

You know, unless Vazquez gives up 35 HR next year pitching with that short porch in right....
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:25 PM (#3419508)
Sweet move, though I'm sure we'll hear "can't pitch in NY" crap over the next few days.

The issue is that Vazquez has pretty consistently underperformed his peripherals (career ERA about 0.4 runs higher than FIP).

If you think he is the ace his peripherals say he should be, you'll always be disappointed. If you accept than he's a very durable SP who'll give you 200-220 IP of 100-110 ERA+, you'll be happy with him.

Good trade for NY in any case.
   21. TerpNats Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:26 PM (#3419509)
Huh?
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:26 PM (#3419510)
Is there a reason why Vazquez keeps getting dealt?

Also, is there a reason why teams always seem to give the Yankees good players without asking the Yankees to give up too much?
   23. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:26 PM (#3419511)
BP has Vizcaino as NYY's #2 prospect. I feel slightly better about this from the Braves perspective. But I still think they fleeced themslves. Melky is, and will always be, fourth-outfielder fodder. This is yet another money move.
   24. APNY Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:27 PM (#3419512)
The Yankees must be assuming the whole contract.

It's 1 year 11.5M, which is only 1.5M less than the Yankees paid him from 2005-07 to not pitch for them.
   25. ColonelTom Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:27 PM (#3419513)
This is yet another money move.

Yep. Holliday or Bay will sign with Atlanta shortly. Book it.
   26. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:27 PM (#3419514)
You know, unless Vazquez gives up 35 HR next year pitching with that short porch in right....
Oh, he's giving up 35 home runs. That doesn't mean he can't be an effective--even great--pitcher, he gave up 29 in Chicago and had a 126 ERA+ in '07.

Sentiment is getting the best of me, I'm sure. I'll come around, but I'm reserving my right to be cranky about this through Christmas. Javy Vazuqez. Argh.

On the upside, Lock the State.
   27. Banta Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:28 PM (#3419515)
I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of Yankees fans have a problem with this trade actually. Melky for a guy who flamed out on his first trip to NY? Not that easy of a sell.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:28 PM (#3419516)
It's 1 year 11.5M, which is only 1.5M less than the Yankees paid him from 2005-07 to not pitch for them.

???
   29. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:28 PM (#3419517)
You had better duck.


I get stomped so many times over at BP for being a Sox fan that I don't even notice anymore.
   30. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:28 PM (#3419518)
Cabrera’s departure leaves the Yankees with a gaping hole in left field, potentially re-opening the door for a return by Johnny Damon.
Interestingly, with Damon now on the record saying he'll take $10MM per year for 2 years, it's a lot easier to get him back than it was before they signed Nick Johnson.
   31. bressonian Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:28 PM (#3419519)
In that 2004 season, I remember thinking how noticeable it was that Javy's arm slot dropped way down sometime around July or August. Whether it was a mechanical funk he couldn't correct or he was injured, I don't know. But he had a 3.56 ERA and a 2.97 K/BB ratio in the first half vs. a 6.92 ERA, 1.96 K/BB in the second half. Plus his K/9 dropped from 7.2 to 6.2. It's not out of the realm of possibility that he pitched hurt for a while and his numbers suffered.
   32. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:29 PM (#3419520)
Did the Whitesox have a bad defense in 2006 and 2008? Maybe he'll do better this time since the Yankees have a decent defensive outfield, I guess, but it seems like a waste of money and prospects for the 4.80 ERA they'll get. Chad Gaudin could have done that, as likely as not.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:29 PM (#3419522)
Oh, he's giving up 35 home runs. That doesn't mean he can't be an effective--even great--pitcher, he gave up 29 in Chicago and had a 126 ERA+ in '07.

Effective, yes. Don't expect great. He's much more likely to have a 100 ERA+ than a 130.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:29 PM (#3419523)
The Braves have been looking to move one of Vazquez or Lowe for several weeks now.
Vazquez projects to about 10-20 runs better than Lowe. If the Braves were getting back major league talent, I could see it, but Melky's a fourth outfielder and it appears that the big value in the this trade are the upside arms.

This trade very clearly makes the Braves a worse team in 2010. Though, I guess there could be another foot to drop - if they take the ~8M in savings and invest it in a new hitter of some sort, the Braves could make out well enough.

$11.5M for one season of a nicely above average starting pitcher is an absolutely fabulous contract, and the Yankees did very well in this trade. Which bothers me. They're having about the best offseason the club could have, and they're lining everything up to sign Holliday in mid-January.
   35. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:29 PM (#3419525)
Apparently the Yankees are working out a deal with The Run Fairy next.
   36. Norcan Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:30 PM (#3419526)
I don't think it's necessarily a homerun acquisition. It wouldn't be surprising to see him come down from last season and post a ERA in the 4s and a ERA+ below 100, like, say he's done a bunch of times in the past five years. Coming back to the AL, I don't think it'd be surprising at all. At the same time, it wouldn't be surprising to see him put up another good season because he has the stuff to do so. All in all, the move looks solid because not too much was given up, even though Vizcaino is supposed to be very talented while Vazquez is at worst still a better option than someone like Chad Guadin. It's not a quivering inducing move but it could be, I guess.
   37. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:32 PM (#3419528)
Don't expect great. He's much more likely to have a 100 ERA+ than a 130.
Does anyone sound like they're expecitng great? You've been wailing on this FIP strawman, I think we're all convinced.
   38. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:33 PM (#3419530)
If I'm the Yankees, I'd rather have Duchscherer.
   39. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:33 PM (#3419531)
Melky's a fourth outfielder
I don't think that's true. He's a fourth outfielder if you're the Yankees or Red Sox, but he hits about average for a CFer, and plays solid defense. He's an acceptable CF, just not anything special.
   40. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:34 PM (#3419533)
It's 1 year 11.5M


Groan. That's no worse than market value. Somebody please stop the madness.
   41. OCD SS Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:34 PM (#3419534)
Also, is there a reason why teams always seem to give the Yankees good players without asking the Yankees to give up too much?


Cashman's negotiating strategy is to spend the entire session whining that everyone wants more from the Yankees in trade than they ask of other teams.
   42. hokieneer Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:34 PM (#3419535)
but he hits about average for a CFer, and plays solid defense

Did I miss when this happened?
   43. Zonk Will Have the Chicken Kiev Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:36 PM (#3419538)
Wow.

I think this is a bad, bad, bad trade for Atlanta. I know they would have preferred to ditch Lowe, but I don't think "if not, I guess we'll trade Javy" is the answer.
   44. The Original SJ Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:37 PM (#3419539)
I've said it before and I'll say it again: MLB's economic system foments imbalance. A checked-and-balanced cap/floor system would be much better than this. Saying this as a Red Sox fan who would like to see what Theo could do with a level playing field, and who wants competition
.

this post reminds me of this.
   45. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:37 PM (#3419540)
This is ####### bullshit.
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3419541)
Does anyone sound like they're expecitng great? You've been wailing on this FIP strawman, I think we're all convinced.

OK. RLYW has him projected for a ~3.50 ERA. That's basically what I'm responding to.
   47. The District Attorney Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:39 PM (#3419542)
Does anyone sound like they're expecitng great?
Javy was freakin' great last year according to wins, ERA, WHIP, FIP, xFIP, WOP, FOOP, NARWHAL, and whatever else you could possibly think of.

I understand that he has consistently underachieved his peripherals (although, again, sure didn't happen last year), but I can't accept that he's "league average" in a Jon Garland-esque sense, either.
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:39 PM (#3419543)
It wouldn't be surprising to see him come down from last season and post a ERA in the 4s and a ERA+ below 100, like, say he's done a bunch of times in the past five years.
I assume you're referring to his 92 ERA+ over 198 innings in 2004, his 98 ERA+ over 203 innings in 2006, and his 98 ERA+ over 208 innings in 2008. These were Vazquez's VORP numbers those three seasons:

21.6 (2004), 23.2 (2006), 23.7 (2008)

And in the other seasons, unmentioned...

23.6 (2005), 51.6 (2007), 58.8 (2009)

This is a guy who's been a 5 WAR pitcher in two of the last three seasons. Whose worst seasons are still better than what most anyone's 4th starter can manage. I don't get this trade for Atlanta unless something pretty awesome is coming down the pipe, and it's great for the Yankees.
   49. Gamingboy Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:41 PM (#3419546)
1. Sabathia
2. Burnett
3. Vazquez/Pettitte
4. Pettitte/Vazquez
5. Whoever

I need Voodoo dolls. Now.
   50. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3419548)
He's an acceptable CF, just not anything special.


I don't know about this. At times he seems to be a first-division starter in CF. Other times he looks like he could wash out of the league. He's never posted higher than a 1.6 WAR.

In fact, I think the Braves see him as a 4th OF anyway, really. They're probably going to use him as a hedge against Heyward not being ready. If Heyward's ready, Cabrera = 4th OF.
   51. DL from MN Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3419550)
It's a terrific acquisition. An above average starting pitcher for a 4th outfielder and 2 prospects that probably won't crack the Yankees staff anyway. The Yankees fill out the rotation meaning Joba or Hughes stays in the bullpen. They probably bring back Damon now.

The Yankees are going to be a fantastic ballclub. Javy Vazquez was a top 30 starter last year and he's going to be the 4th starter in the Bronx. Melky Cabrera is replaced with Granderson. The plan for the rest of the AL is get to the playoffs and hope you get lucky (your team or someone else bumps them off) because nobody is going to be a favorite against the Yankees.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3419552)
I understand that he has consistently underachieved his peripherals (although, again, sure didn't happen last year), but I can't accept that he's "league average" in a Jon Garland-esque sense, either.

No, his durability and above average performance (107 career ERA+) makes him solidly above average. But he isn't the guy he was last year, unless something big has changed.

He's about as good as Burnett, and more reliable than Pettitte. The Yankees have a true ace, and three solid #2 SP. That's a pretty great place to be.

If they add Holliday, this could be a team for the ages.
   53. Zonk Will Have the Chicken Kiev Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:46 PM (#3419554)
The Yankees seem to be playing OOTP compared to everyone else's 'real' baseball.
   54. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:46 PM (#3419556)
In fact, I think the Braves see him as a 4th OF anyway, really. They're probably going to use him as a hedge against Heyward not being ready. If Heyward's ready, Cabrera = 4th OF.

Then who's the 3rd OF? McLouth, Heyward and Diaz? Melky's gotta be better than Diaz.
   55. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:46 PM (#3419558)
Oh God. I have never, ever, ever whined about the Yankees in my entire life, but this is no longer even fun. It's one thing if they just buy up all the top free agents. It's another if they can also fleece cash-strapped mid-market teams (ARI, ATL) in trades as well.
   56. Banta Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:46 PM (#3419559)
If you think he is the ace

He's got a better career ERA+ than Jack Morris!

Seriously, what are the Yankees projected to win now? 105 games? More? What if they do sign Holliday?

They could challenge their 1998 team this year.
   57. NJ in NY (Now with Big Girl!) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:47 PM (#3419561)
What a way to start my morning. Cashman is the best GM in baseball. That is how I'm feeling right now.
   58. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:47 PM (#3419563)
I don't get this trade for Atlanta
It's entirely about money. What's to get?
   59. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:48 PM (#3419564)
Cabrera’s departure leaves the Yankees with a gaping hole in left field

Uh, isn't this overstating Cabrera's value just a bit?
   60. billyshears Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:49 PM (#3419566)
At first, I thought this must be a joke. I guess it's not though. On the other hand, maybe it's win-win. It will weaken the Braves and Vazquez will suck with the Yankees.
   61. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:50 PM (#3419568)
Come off the ledge, people. Burnett is as likely as not to spend half the year on the DL, and Pettitte is as likely as not to finally implode. It's not hard to envision a scenario in which the Yankees rotation pretty much sucks.
   62. Gold Star for Robothal Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:51 PM (#3419571)
I think any contender would be happy to make this deal for Vazquez; I wish the Mariners could've popped in and lifted Vazquez.
   63. Barnaby Jones Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:51 PM (#3419572)
As a Braves fan, this is f'in terrible. Just awful. If I was a Philadelphian, I would find Frank Wren so that I could throw batteries at him.

Melky's gotta be better than Diaz.


No he's not. Cabrera is awful. Diaz can hit.
   64. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:53 PM (#3419576)
I wish the Mariners could've popped in and lifted Vazquez.
I doubt they're looking to add another $11.5 million.
   65. The Good Face Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:53 PM (#3419577)
I assume you're referring to his 92 ERA+ over 198 innings in 2004, his 98 ERA+ over 203 innings in 2006, and his 98 ERA+ over 208 innings in 2008. These were Vazquez's VORP numbers those three seasons:

21.6 (2004), 23.2 (2006), 23.7 (2008)

And in the other seasons, unmentioned...

23.6 (2005), 51.6 (2007), 58.8 (2009)

This is a guy who's been a 5 WAR pitcher in two of the last three seasons. Whose worst seasons are still better than what most anyone's 4th starter can manage. I don't get this trade for Atlanta unless something pretty awesome is coming down the pipe, and it's great for the Yankees.


Pretty much this. Yeah, there's always a chance a pitcher could just crater, but even if Vazquez gives you the low end of his projected performance, he's still a valuable commodity. A durable inning eater with the chance to give you more. I feel a lot better about the Yankee's rotation now.
   66. Norcan Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:53 PM (#3419578)
This is a guy who's been a 5 WAR pitcher in two of the last three seasons. Whose worst seasons are still better than what most anyone's 4th starter can manage. I don't get this trade for Atlanta unless something pretty awesome is coming down the pipe, and it's great for the Yankees.


Yeah, I know there's value to a guy being durable enough to pitch over 200 innings. But regardless, no matter what VORP and WAR indicate, if he's putting up an ERA in the mid to high 4s, he's not going to have been a knockout acquisition. As a fourth and fifth starter, he's an amazing addition but if he pitches like one, getting booed off the mound a number of times, which is a very real possibility, then it's not quite the steal it looks like right now. That's the conundrum of Vazquez. Most times when you acquire a pitcher coming off a 140s ERA+ season who has frontline stuff, you shouldn't have to worry that his ERA+ could be under 100 the next season.
   67. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:53 PM (#3419579)
I think any contender would be happy to make this deal for Vazquez; I wish the Mariners could've popped in and lifted Vazquez.

Vazquez has a no trade clause to west ballclubs.
   68. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:54 PM (#3419581)
I don't get this trade for Atlanta

It's entirely about money. What's to get?
What's to get, clearly, is why the Braves needed to trim $8M in payroll. I'd heard nothing of the sort. And this was seriously the best trade they could make to trim $8M? The first is plausible, but has not been reported anywhere. The second is deeply unconvincing. There was nowhere, nowhere, they could cut payroll otherwise? The Braves just traded away one of their best players for a guy who is, at best, close to league average.
   69. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:57 PM (#3419585)
Yeah, I know there's value to a guy being durable enough to pitch over 200 innings. But regardless, no matter what VORP and WAR indicate, if he's putting up an ERA in the mid to high 4s, he's not going to have been a knockout acquisition.
Of course not. No one's a "knockout acquisition" if they pitch as poorly as they ever have in their career. I don't really see what your point is - every baseball move comes with significant downside risk. Curtis Granderson could forget how to hit curveballs. Roy Halladay could get him by a bus tomorrow. That doesn't mean the clubs involved didn't do a great job in acquiring such good players.
   70. Banta Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:57 PM (#3419587)
Most times when you acquire a pitcher coming off a 140s ERA+ season who has frontline stuff, you shouldn't have to worry that his ERA+ could be under 100 the next season.

Yeah, but most times you have to give up a hell of a lot more to get that pitcher too.

The point is, the Yankees aren't gonna be that much in the hole even if Vazquez puts up a 95 ERA+. And if he does better... then it's a steal.
   71. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:58 PM (#3419588)
Then who's the 3rd OF? McLouth, Heyward and Diaz? Melky's gotta be better than Diaz.


They also have Schafer. Let's meet in the middle at "platoon outfielder".
   72. Zonk Will Have the Chicken Kiev Posted: December 22, 2009 at 03:59 PM (#3419590)
Come off the ledge, people. Burnett is as likely as not to spend half the year on the DL, and Pettitte is as likely as not to finally implode. It's not hard to envision a scenario in which the Yankees rotation pretty much sucks.


Well, to be frank - I feel like karma, god, God, fate, or someone/something owes the rest of us that....

It's reached the point of absurdity.

Like most of BBTF, I've never been one to whine about competitive balance, but this is ridiculous.

It's just not fun for anyone that isn't a Yankee fan.
   73. RJ in TO Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:00 PM (#3419593)
There was nowhere, nowhere, they could cut payroll otherwise? The Braves just traded away one of their best players for a guy who is, at best, close to league average.


Well, the rumors were that the Braves were trying to move Lowe, rather than Vazquez. However, given the differences in their contracts and recent performances, teams were understandably more interested in not having Lowe.

Look at their roster - there really aren't a ton of spots, other than the starting rotation, where the Braves can cut cash. Chipper is the only big-money guy among positional players, and he's not going anywhere, and the four other big dollar contracts on the team for 2010 were Hudson, Lowe, Vazquez, and Kawakami.
   74. billyshears Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:00 PM (#3419594)
I guess there weren't too many teams lining up to acquire the lukewarm corpse of Derek Lowe.
   75. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:01 PM (#3419595)
What a way to start my morning. Cashman is the best GM in baseball. That is how I'm feeling right now.


Any GM can pull #### like this with an unlimited budget. Be happy all you want, but don't start with the "Cashman is the best GM" garbage. He's good. Merely good when he doesn't have to be great to have the best team in the league. In fact, I suspect all he has to do is be something close to average.
   76. aleskel Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:01 PM (#3419596)
The point is, the Yankees aren't gonna be that much in the hole even if Vazquez puts up a 95 ERA+. And if he does better... then it's a steal.

The Yankees rotation last year, by ERA+

Sabathia 127
Burnett 106
Pettitte 103
Chamberlain 90

And they won 105 games. Average-ish pitching is just fine when you score a bunch o' runs.
   77. RJ in TO Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:02 PM (#3419597)
Any GM can pull #### like this with an unlimited budget.


Even Dayton Moore?
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:03 PM (#3419599)
Like most of BBTF, I've never been one to whine about competitive balance, but this is ridiculous.

I don't think this has much to do with "competitive balance". It has to do with other teams being pennywise and pound foolish.

The Tigers and Braves didn't "have to" make these trades. Their owners are just unwilling to give their GMs a little more payroll flexibility. i.e., they won't accept lower profit margins.

If you react to a recession by insisting on making as much money as during normal times, you're going to make excessive cuts that damage your organization/product etc. This is true in any business.

The Yankees are just capitalizing on the stupidity of other owners.
   79. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:03 PM (#3419600)
Any GM can pull #### like this with an unlimited budget. Be happy all you want, but don't start with the "Cashman is the best GM" garbage. He's good. Merely good when he doesn't have to be great to have the best team in the league. In fact, I suspect all he has to do is be something close to average.
What Cashman would do with a budget in line with any other MLB team is unknowable. What Cashman's doing with the Yankees budget over the last couple seasons is pretty great. Though, to be fair, he screwed up 2007.
   80. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:04 PM (#3419601)
And Nick Johnson is finally teammates with Javy Vazquez.
   81. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:05 PM (#3419603)

Sabathia 127
Burnett 106
Pettitte 103


That's above average. Vazquez squirted out a 98 ERA+ in both '06 and '08. In the new Yankee Stadium that would be what, 4.90? (I assume baseball-reference is using a neutral park factor for new Yankee Stadium in 2009, since Pettite's 103 was 4.16 . . .)
   82. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:06 PM (#3419605)
Any GM can pull #### like this with an unlimited budget. Be happy all you want, but don't start with the "Cashman is the best GM" garbage. He's good. Merely good when he doesn't have to be great to have the best team in the league. In fact, I suspect all he has to do is be something close to average.


Where other GMs overpay in a much sleeker, sneakier, dreamier way.
   83. The Good Face Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:06 PM (#3419606)
And they won 105 games. Average-ish pitching is just fine when you score a bunch o' runs.


Although the Yankees should have a good offense in 2010, I doubt we'll see a repeat of 2009 with 8 guys in the lineup carrying an OPS+ higher than 125.
   84. Nasty Nate Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:06 PM (#3419608)
Yankees got him cheapish because (a) its only a 1-year deal and (b) he has a no-trade to both West divisions and (c) I assume the Braves wouldn't trade him to the Mets or Philadelphia. So there are very few teams for which it would make sense to go after him, once you take away all the rebuilding teams, all the teams whith cheapo owners, all the west teams, and all the teams that the Braves wouldn't want to help in 2010.
   85. RJ in TO Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:08 PM (#3419610)
Although the Yankees should have a good offense in 2010, I doubt we'll see a repeat of 2009 with 8 guys in the lineup carrying an OPS+ higher than 125.


Given that they effectively swapped Melky for Granderson, there's an outside chance that we could see all 9 guys go for an OPS+ higher than 125.
   86. Norcan Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:09 PM (#3419611)
Curtis Granderson could forget how to hit curveballs. Roy Halladay could get him by a bus tomorrow. That doesn't mean the clubs involved didn't do a great job in acquiring such good players.


The point is that Vazquez has pitched "as poorly as they ever have" a lot in the past five years. To say there's a decent chance that he'll once again not put together back to back good seasons is not the equivalent of saying Halladay's a bad trade acquisition because he could get run over by a bus. Let me clear, I know Vazquez is valuable at the very least because of the innings he provides and he wouldn't make a bad fourth starter. However, he's not necessarily a knockout acquisition that makes the Yankees miles better. That's all.
   87. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:09 PM (#3419612)
In the new Yankee Stadium that would be what, 4.90?
(1) So what? That looks ugly on paper, but what difference does it make? If Pedro Martinez put up a 17.80 ERA playing in Fenway Park on the Moon that doesn't mean he isn't better than other pitchers.

(2) More to the point, a 95 ERA+ last year at Yankee Stadium last year was 4.50, if you're going to argue these points, don't just make stuff up.

EDIT: BBRef isn't using a neutral park factor, for all the HR-hype, the new park depresses doubles and triples, it isn't the bandbox people imagine.
   88. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:10 PM (#3419614)
They could challenge their 1998 team this year.

Oh, stop with this. They had the Pythag of a 95-67 last year. They are the best team in baseball right now, but to quote the Wolf, let's not go sucking each other's ***** just yet.
   89. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:10 PM (#3419615)
Given that they effectively swapped Melky for Granderson, there's an outside chance that we could see all 9 guys go for an OPS+ higher than 125.

As of now, they've swapped Damon for Granderson, and Melky for Gardner. So 8 is probably the max.

If they sign Holliday, then, Wow!
   90. Zonk Will Have the Chicken Kiev Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:11 PM (#3419618)

The Tigers and Braves didn't "have to" make these trades. Their owners are just unwilling to give their GMs a little more payroll flexibility. i.e., they won't accept lower profit margins.


Neither the Braves nor the Tigers are playing with loria-esque payrolls.

As much as I've always opposed it in the past, I'm not going to complain if the owners renew calls for a salary cap this time around. Just to punish the Yankees. I completely accept and understand that it won't help the Pirates gets better. I completely accept and understand that it will cause Jeff Loria to shrug his shoulders and make more in profit. I just want it to punish the Yankees.

Things have reached the point where the problem is all Yankees, all the time.

While it may be unfair to reconfigure MLB rules to address one team -- I would point out that the cliche about "life isn't fair" goes in both directions...
   91. RJ in TO Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3419620)
EDIT: BBRef isn't using a neutral park factor, for all the HR-hype, the new park depresses doubles and triples, it isn't the bandbox people imagine.


Doesn't it suppress doubles and triples by turning them into HRs? I may be wrong, but isn't that the standard definition of a band-box - a place in which it's considered to be too easy to punch out homers?
   92. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:13 PM (#3419624)
I think we're due for a "bad Robby Cano" year. And Jeter and has to age at some point. Posada almost certainly will not have the same offensive season next year. My guess is that the offense isn't quite as godly in 2010 as it was in 2009.
   93. Blackadder Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:13 PM (#3419623)
I don't know how Cot's handles arb players, but right now they have the Yankees at $187M, which would mean adding Vazquez still puts them below last year's payroll, and significantly below 2008. Of course, if they spend a lot adding a left fielder that changes things, but as of right now this is nothing new.
   94. Mike Hampton's #1 Fan Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:13 PM (#3419622)
Just not fun any more. I don't blame the Yankees -- at least, no more than I blame the rest of baseball -- but I'll be watching soccer this summer.
   95. Fat Al Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:15 PM (#3419625)
but to quote the Wolf, let's not go sucking each other's ***** just yet.


Just rewatched last week. I love that movie.
   96. Nasty Nate Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:16 PM (#3419628)
even a frenchman would be turned off by how much wine was in this thread
   97. Mike A Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:18 PM (#3419633)
I'm sick to my freakin' stomach. This is Estrada/Millwood all over again.
   98. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:19 PM (#3419635)
I hate this trade viscerally as much as I loved the Granderson and Johnson acquisitions.

$11.5 million for Javy Vazquez? I thought the Yankees were cutting payroll.
   99. Banta Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:19 PM (#3419636)
They are the best team in baseball right now, but to quote the Wolf, let's not go sucking each other's ***** just yet.

True, but if they sign Holliday, the rest of the league better get practicing their deepthroating.
   100. The Original SJ Posted: December 22, 2009 at 04:19 PM (#3419637)
Oh, stop with this. They had the Pythag of a 95-67 last year.

The 2010 pitching staff will be much closer to the second half than the first half. Wang, Claggett, Veras, Ramirez, Tomko and Abbledagecko had very little work in the second half. And they will have none in 2010.
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