• Melky Cabrera Traded For Javier Vazquez

    Posted by on December 22nd, 2009 · Comments (31)

    Reports say that the Yankees have traded Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino to the Braves for Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan.

    I’ll have some commentary on this deal later this evening. In the meantime, feel free to leave your thoughts on this trade in the comments section here.

    Comments on Melky Cabrera Traded For Javier Vazquez

    1. Corey
      December 22nd, 2009 | 10:25 am

      I thought about it yesterday since the time it was brought up. I’m down with this.

    2. Corey
      December 22nd, 2009 | 10:28 am

      Especially if you think about it like this:

      You traded melky and dunn with a prospect for 1 year of javy. You let Javy walk next year, get 2 draft picks. 2 fresh draft picks > melky dun and vizcaino anyway, so this seems like a win before you even involve Vasquez.

    3. cr1
      December 22nd, 2009 | 10:30 am

      I said at the beginning of the off-season that if NYY FO would just get a real centerfielder and a reliable innings eater I wouldn’t ask them for more under the tree.

      Looks like my holiday is set.

    4. YankCrank
      December 22nd, 2009 | 10:31 am

      Let’s take a second and thank every member of the Yankee organization that worked with Melky from his demotion at the end of ’08 all the way through his ’09 to get his trade value in a positive position.

      Melky is very much a league average, closer to below league average outfielder and we got something damn good in return for him and others.

    5. MJ
      December 22nd, 2009 | 10:34 am

      Corey wrote:

      Especially if you think about it like this:
      You traded melky and dunn with a prospect for 1 year of javy. You let Javy walk next year, get 2 draft picks. 2 fresh draft picks > melky dun and vizcaino anyway, so this seems like a win before you even involve Vasquez.

      Given Cashman’s track record, he won’t offer arbitration and hence you don’t get the draft picks.

      Melky and Dunn are no great shakes in my book. I loved Melky as a person and as a fan favorite. I even bought a “Got Melky” t-shirt back in 2006 and rank his HR-saving catch off Manny Ramirez in June ’06 as one of the coolest moments I’ve ever experienced as a Yankee fan. I don’t give a crap about Dunn.

      But losing Vizcaino kills me. Granted, he’s only going to be in low-A this year and is probably three or four years away from the big leagues but I don’t see why the Yanks had to trade him to get the deal done. The Yanks are saving Atlanta big money so they shouldn’t have to overpay for Vazquez.

      I suppose a prospect that’s so far from the big leagues isn’t a big deal but as a die-hard prospect watcher, a little bit of me dies every time I don’t get to see these kids make it to AA and AAA.

      Overall, the trade is a win for the Yanks. They get a 200 inning workhorse beind Sabathia and Burnett, they move Pettitte down to the #4 spot where he realistically belongs, and they can now reasonably compete with the Red Sox in terms of front-line depth in the rotation:

      Beckett-Lester-Lackey

      Sabathia-Burnett-Vazquez

    6. esgriff
      December 22nd, 2009 | 10:43 am

      Is Vazquez even that good? He’s only had 1 year in the AL that was really good and that was in 2007 with the White Sox. He certainly wasn’t that good last go around in NY.

    7. MJ
      December 22nd, 2009 | 10:43 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      Let’s take a second and thank every member of the Yankee organization that worked with Melky from his demotion at the end of ‘08 all the way through his ‘09 to get his trade value in a positive position.

      Absolutely agree.

      YankCrank wrote:

      Melky is very much a league average, closer to below league average outfielder and we got something damn good in return for him and others.

      Perhaps his skill is played up in the NL but, yeah, as far as the AL goes, he had been nothing more than a 4th OF in terms of production.

    8. GDH
      December 22nd, 2009 | 10:44 am

      MJ wrote:

      I loved Melky as a person and as a fan favorite. I even bought a “Got Melky” t-shirt back in 2006 and rank his HR-saving catch off Manny Ramirez in June ‘06 as one of the coolest moments I’ve ever experienced as a Yankee fan.

      Ditto that MJ – I got the t-shirt, and I would add that Melky’s triple to complete the cycle was one of the most joyful and comical dashes I’ve seen around the diamond. I loved watching Melky play and will miss him, wish him well.

      Who plays left field though? Can you hear Cashman saying “Brett Gardner is our starting left fielder?”

    9. Corey
      December 22nd, 2009 | 10:49 am

      GDH wrote:

      Can you hear Cashman saying “Brett Gardner is our starting left fielder?”

      Music to Steve’s ears. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, IMO.

    10. MJ
      December 22nd, 2009 | 10:54 am

      GDH wrote:

      Who plays left field though? Can you hear Cashman saying “Brett Gardner is our starting left fielder?”

      Corey wrote:

      It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, IMO.

      Please tell me you’re joking. Gardner is every bit the 4th OF Melky was, and arguably even more impotent with the bat.

      Gardner is not a starting-caliber player on the Yanks. They’d be wise to bring back Damon.

    11. Corey
      December 22nd, 2009 | 10:59 am

      MJ wrote:

      Please tell me you’re joking. Gardner is every bit the 4th OF Melky was, and arguably even more impotent with the bat.

      I would have been fine with Melky, too. This is the 9th place hitter we’re talking about here.

    12. YankCrank
      December 22nd, 2009 | 11:04 am

      MJ wrote:

      Gardner is not a starting-caliber player on the Yanks. They’d be wise to bring back Damon.

      I’ll repost this since it was lost in a different section:

      As for Damon, we’ll see if he comes back but I don’t want him anywhere near LF anymore. Check these out:

      2007 UZR/150 in LF: +37.4
      2008 UZR/150 in LF: +11.6 (-25.8 from previous year)
      2009 UZR/150 in LF: -12.1 (-23.7 from previous year)

      His defense is declining fast, as in the plane is tumbling down at record speed. I don’t want this man in left field at Yankee Stadium.

    13. jrk
      December 22nd, 2009 | 11:08 am

      My initial concerns: Will Javy fail again in the AL East? Let’s not forget how poor his last time around was. We need a left-fielder. Garder=defensive replacement and pinch hitter. Losing Viscaino after hearing how high everyone was on him (#3 on our top 10 prospects) doesn’t sit too well. Boone Logan sucks. period.

      Mike Dunn apparently was the phil coke fill-in for this year. I can live w/ him being gone. I can live with Melky going, i love the guy – but yes, he’s just average.

      So the only way I will be okay with this trade is if Vasquez goes out and proves me wrong – proves that he can be a reliable #3 (NOT a 4.91 ERA 2004 Vasquez). I hope so…

    14. MJ
      December 22nd, 2009 | 11:09 am

      Corey wrote:

      I would have been fine with Melky, too. This is the 9th place hitter we’re talking about here.

      That argument has never made sense. Why would you give up 600 PA’s just because it’s the 9th hitter? The fact that other 9th place hitters aren’t good doesn’t make the argument more defensible. If you have an opportunity to put the best team out there, shouldn’t you do so?

    15. GDH
      December 22nd, 2009 | 11:12 am

      My earlier post was toung in cheek, as I don’t think Cashman stands pat with Gardner in LF, although defensively it’s quite good.

      YankCrank’s post is an eye opener – and although it would not stop me from bringing Damon back as a DH, as LF it is more than a little worrisome, especially at 10M. But realistically, who else is there? Sure Bay and Holiday, but they’ll both get more than they’re worth. That leaves Dye, Podsednick, Endy Chavez??? A trade? If not Gardner, then who?

    16. MJ
      December 22nd, 2009 | 11:14 am

      jrk wrote:

      So the only way I will be okay with this trade is if Vasquez goes out and proves me wrong – proves that he can be a reliable #3 (NOT a 4.91 ERA 2004 Vasquez)

      In 2004, Vazquez was 8% below being a league-average pitcher (ERA+ 92). Assuming that he’ll only be a league average pitcher (ERA+ 100), I don’t see why anyone would be disappointed or upset about that. The #3 starter on the team providing 200 innings of league-average performance would be just fine.

      I hope everyone realizes that in 2009 — the year the Yanks won the World Series — Andy Pettitte was the team’s #3 starter, pitched a shade under 200 innings (194.2) and pitched a shade above league average (ERA+ 103).

      We won the World Series with that level of performance. If Vazquez does just that, the Yanks can win the World Series again.

    17. MJ
      December 22nd, 2009 | 11:18 am

      @ YankCrank:
      I’m not worried about those numbers at all. The Yanks won the WS with Damon in LF last year. He hits enough to make his defense roughly neutral. After all, he’s a 3-win player, right? If he’s a 3-win player (WAR 3.6) and he’s giving a little over a full win with his defense, that means his offense is good enough for the team.

      Bottom line: Damon is a better overall player than Gardner, even if the former isn’t as good in the field as the latter. As GDH pointed out in comment #14, the options to play LF are extremely limited. The Yanks would be foolish to go into next year with their OF depth as putrid as it is right now. Gardner is the team’s 4th OF and Hoffmann should be the 5th OF. Since Dye, Podsednik and Chavez all suck and since Bay/Holliday are too expensive, Damon fits in like a glove.

      Jeter
      Damon
      Teixeira
      Rodriguez
      Johnson
      Posada
      Granderson
      Swisher
      Cano

    18. December 22nd, 2009 | 11:30 am

      [...] Melky Cabrera Traded For Javier Vazquez Dec 22 [...]

    19. Corey
      December 22nd, 2009 | 11:33 am

      MJ wrote:

      hat other 9th place hitters aren’t good doesn’t make the argument more defensible. If yo

      I think Gardner could do some good in the 9th hole with his speed. He just needs to be able to get on base.

    20. Corey
      December 22nd, 2009 | 11:34 am

      MJ wrote:

      Jeter
      Damon
      Teixeira
      Rodriguez
      Johnson
      Posada
      Granderson
      Swisher
      Cano

      There’s no way Nick Johnson bats 5th in this lineup. I’d pencil him between swish and cano, otherwise this is fine. (I’d rather not have Damon but u seem insistent on it :P)

    21. MJ
      December 22nd, 2009 | 11:38 am

      @ Corey:
      Yeah, I suppose Johnson can bat 8th or 9th.

      As to your point regarding Gardner, I just don’t see him producing enough to get 600 PA’s. Speed notwithstanding, he’s a passive hitter with no power and a propensity for hitting the ball in the air too much. He’s truly a pinch-runner/defensive-replacement guy if there ever was one.

    22. clintfsu813
      December 22nd, 2009 | 11:40 am

      Hoch thinks it might be Derosa in LF

    23. MJ
      December 22nd, 2009 | 11:50 am

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      Hoch thinks it might be Derosa in LF

      He hasn’t played the OF enough to be truly tested out there. Only 219 of his 1032 career games as an outfielder and only 59 of those in LF.

      He’s not anywhere close to the hitter Damon is and, as Evan liked to point out yesterday, he’s a righty, thus negating the natural advantage Damon’s swing has at Yankee Stadium.

      I really, truly would pass on DeRosa unless it’s for one year and under $5M. Otherwise, you’re just taking the poorer option on principle.

    24. GDH
      December 22nd, 2009 | 12:42 pm

      I hope it’s not DeRosa. He’s a 4th OF just like Gardner, with less speed and and less defense. Damon makes the most sense in left, just will someone teach him that 80 mph underhand thingy that the softball pitchers do? I wince every time he throws the ball.

    25. G.I. Joey
      December 22nd, 2009 | 1:12 pm

      Assuming Damon is out of the picture, does anyone have any feelings about moving Swish to left and signing Jermaine Dye for RF?

    26. MJ
      December 22nd, 2009 | 1:18 pm

      G.I. Joey wrote:

      Assuming Damon is out of the picture, does anyone have any feelings about moving Swish to left and signing Jermaine Dye for RF?

      Yes, I have a feeling about signing Dye. To quote the 80′s anti-drug campaign, “JUST SAY NO!”

      It would fly in the face of the “younger and more athletic” mantra that I keep hearing and Dye had a bad enough 2009 that it’s conceivable he’s already begun his decline, something that cannot be said for Damon as of yet.

    27. Evan3457
      December 22nd, 2009 | 1:19 pm

      MJ wrote:

      clintfsu813 wrote:
      Hoch thinks it might be Derosa in LF
      He hasn’t played the OF enough to be truly tested out there. Only 219 of his 1032 career games as an outfielder and only 59 of those in LF.
      He’s not anywhere close to the hitter Damon is and, as Evan liked to point out yesterday, he’s a righty, thus negating the natural advantage Damon’s swing has at Yankee Stadium.
      I really, truly would pass on DeRosa unless it’s for one year and under $5M. Otherwise, you’re just taking the poorer option on principle.

      Couldn’t agree more, MJ.

      In spite of the probable defensive hit, I much prefer Damon to DeRosa, and hope he doesn’t sulk about the reduced salary as much as Cashman fears.

    28. Evan3457
      December 22nd, 2009 | 1:20 pm

      G.I. Joey wrote:

      Assuming Damon is out of the picture, does anyone have any feelings about moving Swish to left and signing Jermaine Dye for RF?

      Swisher could not cover the ground in left. Big mistake. Probably cost 30 runs defensively, between the two positions, and for a bat that’s only OK now, and declining.

    29. MJ
      December 22nd, 2009 | 1:47 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I much prefer Damon…and hope he doesn’t sulk about the reduced salary as much as Cashman fears.

      Personally, I think this whole sulking thing is overplayed. If he’s willing to come off the 3Y/$39M and offered his services at 2Y/$20M, he’s obviously desperate enough and therefore willing to take a pay cut.

      If he sulks, he sulks. He won’t be the first or last player to think he deserves more money. What’s he going to do? Mail in the entire season? Strike out on purpose? Not dive for catchable balls? I highly doubt that. And if he does, the Yanks will bench him, play Gardner in LF and humiliate Damon even further. I just don’t see it going down that way.

      I’ve thought all along that Cashman’s “sulking” meme was just an excuse on his part.

    30. GDH
      December 22nd, 2009 | 3:54 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Personally, I think this whole sulking thing is overplayed. If he’s willing to come off the 3Y/$39M and offered his services at 2Y/$20M, he’s obviously desperate enough and therefore willing to take a pay cut

      This is where I don’t understand the logic. If we still have an opening, and we’re only 3M per year apart – split the difference and get this done already – or just pay the guy. (It’s starting to sound a lot like the old Andy Pettite saga). I hate this playing coy BS. I posted this in the other thread, but someone tell me where is a 2yr deal a huge risk for Damon? He only has to play left this year, and then he can DH if need be. He’s FAR better than the other alternatives right now, and that makes him worth the extra 3 per year.

    31. MJ
      December 22nd, 2009 | 4:01 pm

      @ GDH:
      I couldn’t agree more.

      It always irritates me when the Yanks get bitchy over the last 2%-3% of their $200M payroll. Give me a freakin’ break, Cashman. You wanted him at $20M and now dropped your offer to $14M? What are you really gaining here? The $6M over two years doesn’t mean squat.

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