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Javier Vazquez Deal With Braves: Good Process, Bad Result?



By Mike Silva ~ August 11th, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

Matt Imbrogno of The Yankee Analysts broke down the December 2009 deal that brought Javier Vazquez Part Two (along with Boone Logan) back to the Bronx for Melky Cabrera and Arodys Vizcaino. Now that Vizcaino has been called up by Atlanta to pitch out of their bullpen, we probably will hear plenty of “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” of Brian Cashman’s decision to make that trade. Looking back was it a good process with bad results?

Imbrogno had this to say about the deal:

At the time, I thought the trade was a bit short sighted. Giving up Vizcaino hurt and acquiring Vazquez meant that Joba Chamberlain wasn’t going to start in 2010. But, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Vazquez was a virtual lock for 200 innings and around 200 strikeouts, A-Viz had yet to pitch in a full season league, and Melky Cabrera was about to get really expensive. The trade ended up being a perfect example of (mostly) good process and just the worst possible results.

I agree with him on all those points with the added note that Cashman mistakenly believed Vazquez was healthy and could handle pitching in New York. He’s admitted as much when talking about the deal since, as he believes Vazquez falls into the category as a pitcher that can’t handle the bright lights of the city. Add in the fact that Vazquez has lost his fastball, and you have a mediocre hurler that’s produced a 4.72 ERA in the obscurity of Florida this year.

Vizcaino was the controversial part of the deal. Blessed with a 95 mph fastball, curveball, and changeup he was ranked the #7 on the Baseball American Top 10 Braves Prospects. Vizcaino didn’t endear himself to many during his brief stint in the system, which is essentially why they included him over another prospect in the deal. NYBD contributor Jed Weisberger didn’t even rank Vizcaino in our 2009 Top 50 Yankees Prospects weeks before the deal. In short, Vizcaino was talented but hardly an untouchable ala the Killer B’s. Besides, it’s possible he turns out to be no more than another hard throwing middle reliever, which in that case wouldn’t be all that great of a loss. The Yankees have plenty of them (see Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, and maybe Phil Hughes).

The only complaint you can make about that deal is perhaps the Yankees taking a chance on a player that had a prior history of failure in New York. The rest of the process was solid in terms of the type of pitcher that you would trade unproven talent for.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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2 Responses to Javier Vazquez Deal With Braves: Good Process, Bad Result?

  1. Chuck Johnson

    The Yankees got Vazquez to compete with Hughes for the fourth and fifth spots, not to compete with CC or AJ for one or two.

    What they wanted from him last year is what they’re getting this year from Colon and Garcia.

    Didn’t work out…so what.

    The Yanks had to make a choice between Brett Gardner and Melky, and while neither possesses a major league quality tool box, Gardner’s skills better fit the Yankees lineup, so the choice was easy.

    Unlike money, LOOGY’s actually do grow on trees, so Logan’s role and/or importance with the Yankees is only slighty more than the ticket taker at Gate 5.

    So Vizcaino didn’t “endear himself” to anyone in the system.

    He’s a seventeen year old from the Dominican Republic 1500 miles from home and facing discipline and structure for the first time in his life.

    Wow, that’s never happened before.

    Is it a surprise he wasn’t on Jed’s list?

    Let’s see..he pitches 44 innings as an 18 year old in the lowest classification in the system, it’s possible he wasn’t viewed as a prospect because of the competition, it’s just as possible he wasn’t listed because the author hadn’t yet heard of him.

    The Braves won this trade as soon as the ink dried on the agreement, they just won it earlier than expected because Javy didn’t work out.

    Vizcaino has a higher ceiling than any pitcher in the Yanks’ system right now.

    And he’s right now a lot closer to reaching it than any pitcher in the system.

  2. Samuel

    But while Vizcaino is now in the majors as a reliever for the stretch run, the way the Yankees move things along, he still would be no higher than Double A Trenton, even if he dominated the last two years.

    Where would he be pitching this year in the majors for the NYY? There is no room at the inn for another young hurler. The Yankees would have probably shut him down already due to his innings.

    And the fact that Vizcaino was not well liked in Staten Island wasn’t due to his homesickness. It was due to the usual “I am so great” attitude many of the Dominican kids have. His was jsut ten times worse than most. Plus, his curveball was not nearly as good as it is now.

    Also, Michael Dunn was part of that trade to the Braves.

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