Via Ed Price today –
There are two kinds of ex-Yankees.
Those of whom Brian Cashman thinks, “Never again.”
And everyone else.
While Cashman says he has never specifically thought, “I’d like to bring him back someday,” after a player departs the Bronx, he did just that with three players last winter.
Cashman signed free agents Nick Johnson and Marcus Thames, one-time Yankees prospects traded away in 2003.
The least popular return of the trio, at least among some Yankees fans, is right-hander Javier Vazquez.
“I’m looking forward to this year,” [Vazquez] said. “I’ve answered a lot of questions since I’ve been here [about] the past and I just want to look forward. … I feel good and I feel like this is going to be a good opportunity.
“I’ve had other years where one of the two halves was good or bad. Obviously in New York it gets bigger.”
Six years ago, Vazquez and Kevin Brown came in to restructure a rotation that had lost Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte to Houston and David Wells to the Padres after winning the AL pennant.
“It’s a different situation for me because it’s just a different team,” Vazquez said. “We’ve got three horses at the front of the rotation with CC [Sabathia], A.J. [Burnett] and Andy [Pettitte]. I’m thrilled to be part of that rotation.
“I look at it the same way. Every year when I go out and pitch, I want to help the team every day. I don’t see it as different expectations.”
In between Bronx tours, Vazquez went to the Diamondbacks, White Sox and Braves.
“I really didn’t think about if I wanted to come back or not,” he said. “In my mind, I’ve always thought if you go to one place and get traded or something like that, you’re probably not coming back.”
I can’t wait to see Vazquez’ performance for the Yankees in 2010. I would be shocked if he did not make 30 starts and throw 200 innings. Why? He’s always good for that – check the record. But, I would also be pretty surprised if his ERA this season was below 4.30 and if he won more than 14 games this year. In summary, I expect 30 starts, 200 innings, 14 wins and an ERA of 4.30 from Javy this season. Anything above that would be a bonus and a pleasant surprise. And, anything less than that would be considered a failure – and it should be…based on his overall history.
Of course, the X-factor here is that it’s his “walk year.” Some guys thrive off that – and some do not. Which will Javy do? That’s anyone’s guess…if you ask me.