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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
White Sox - Acquired Vazquez
Chicago White Sox - Acquired P Javier Vazquez from the Arizona Diamondbacks for OF Chris Young, P Orlando Hernandez, and P Luis Vizcaino
This is another one of those “fair” trades in which both teams get fair value for what they had. What happened to offseasons with robberies, explosions, and Jim Bowden? Yeah, we got a little feckless Jimmy Bowden Action going this winter (although it’s not winter yet), but unless he gets a job with a more aggressive team, enabling him to make horrible decisions on a daily basis, it’s just not enough.
The Diamondbacks could ill afford to lose a starting pitcher, but since they really didn’t have a choice, they at least managed to fill a hole. Chris Young is the prize of this trade, though you wouldn’t know it from the press reports; I hate the headline “Such-and-such is traded for such-and-such and a prospect.” Quite often, the prospect is the best player received in return, but sportswriters act like prospects are generic people that are all the same value as each other. Now I’m getting off-topic.
While the Diamondbacks have a lot of excellent position player prospects, they don’t really have a centerfield-type. And since they don’t really have a centerfield-type on the major league roster either, at least one you’d want to have on your team, Chris Young fills the hole well, even if he’s not going to be a great player, at least right away. He’s a legitimate defensive player in center and this frees up the Diamondbacks for the long-rumored Green-to-1B, Tracy-to-3B, Glaus-to-elsewhere moves. They still have to figure out how to get both Carlos Quentin and Conor Jackson on the team at the same time, but they had that problem before this move. The Diamondbacks didn’t get a tremendous amount in return for Vazquez, but considering what little leverage Arizona had, Josh Byrnes did his job.
El Duque and Luis Vizcaino are really just filler here. Hernandez is fun to watch, of course, and had that great game against the Red Sox in the playoffs, but he’s still a very old, very injury-prone pitcher who’s just not as good as he used to be. Vizcaino still managed a nice ERA in 2005, but his K rate and his fastball speed drop every year. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vizcaino was out of baseball in 3 or 4 years.
The White Sox, while they do lose Young, they gain some flexibility and they still have Brian Anderson. Now is the absolute best time to trade Jon Garland - Vazquez is going to look a lot like the much-coveted pitcher of a few years ago now that he actually has a defense behind him for the first time in years. Garland improved in 2005, but not as much as his ERA says he did and KW will be smart to cash in his value while “18-10! Cy Young candidate!” is fresh in everyone’s heads. A Buerhle/Vazquez/Garcia/Contreras/McCarthy rotation is still pretty sweet, especially with the addition of whatever quality they get for Garland.’
Thumbs ups all around.
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