• How About Javy Vazquez & Prospects For Cliff Lee?

    Posted by on June 29th, 2010 · Comments (43)

    Jay Greenberg thinks Brian Cashman will not trade for Cliff Lee.

    And, many seem to believe that the Yankees don’t need another starting pitcher – given how the season has unfolded so far.

    Me? I’m not sold on the Yankees starters.

    Hey, I’ve got no worries on CC Sabathia. He seems to have hit high gear and he’s a horse, period.

    Andy Pettitte has been super – better than one could have hoped for, in truth. But, he’s no spring chicken. Can he keep it up? I hope so…but, I’ve also seen pitchers his age wear down as the season gets into the second half.

    Phil Hughes? He was outstanding at the start of the season. But, he’s come down to earth recently. He hasn’t been terrible. But, will he stay “not great but not terrible,” or, will he slide down from that position now? I don’t think we can say that he won’t slide down, for sure. Young pitchers sometimes have these issues.

    And, then there’s A.J. Burnett and Javy Vazquez – the great when they’re good and terrible when they’re bad twins. Hey, with these guys every start is a roll of the dice. And, that’s risky, if you ask me.

    So, you have “The Ace” (Sabathia) and “Old Reliable” (Pettitte) followed by “The Kid” (Hughes) and “The Unreliables” (Burnett and Vazquez).

    Because of Pettitte and Hughes’ age, and the concerns on counting on Vazquez and Burnett, if the Yankees could swing a deal with the M’s – giving them Vazquez and some prospects for Lee – I wouldn’t be too upset about it…even if it is a rent-a-player deal for Lee.

    Comments on How About Javy Vazquez & Prospects For Cliff Lee?

    1. Corey Italiano
      June 29th, 2010 | 11:18 am

      Cashman won’t pay twice for a player (prospects and contract), as he shouldn’t.

    2. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 11:19 am

      The M’s have no reason to make that deal.

    3. MJ Recanati
      June 29th, 2010 | 11:24 am

      1) Corey’s right – There is no logic in paying for a free-agent-to-be with prospects when you can just add him to the team “for free” in December.

      2) Raf’s right – The last thing the M’s want is an established MLB pitcher like Vazquez. They’re not contending and they’re not paying the remainder of Vazquez’s contract just to get rid of Lee’s.

      If the answer is to then pay for Vazquez to pitch in Seattle then that robs the M’s of the prospects they’d need to get in any trade of Lee.

      This makes no sense.

    4. June 29th, 2010 | 11:26 am

      Raf wrote:

      The M’s have no reason to make that deal.

      Why not? Vazquez in the AL West, in a big ballpark, replaces Lee – if the M’s think they can get into the race. And, Vazquez gets the M’s a draft pick, like Lee would, if he walks. Or, the M’s can turn Vazquez around (to the Mets or Twins?) for more prospects. So, they get a mini-like Lee in Javy – plus what prospects they get from the Yankees in the deal.

    5. June 29th, 2010 | 11:27 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      Cashman won’t pay twice for a player (prospects and contract), as he shouldn’t.

      Then Cashman might see his team get bounced in the ALDS again like they did in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

    6. Corey Italiano
      June 29th, 2010 | 11:33 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      for more prospects. So, they get a mini-like Lee in Javy – plus what prospects they get from the Yankees in

      This team is BETTER than last year’s world series winning team and they havn’t even gone on a roll yet…we’ve been burned badly in 05,06,07 but don’t let that blind you from how good this team really is.

      At the very least, this team is infinitely better than those teams.

    7. MJ Recanati
      June 29th, 2010 | 11:37 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Why not? Vazquez in the AL West, in a big ballpark, replaces Lee – if the M’s think they can get into the race.

      They can’t. They stink. Literally not a hitter on the team, save for Ichiro. They’ve scored the fewest runs in the AL and the second-fewest runs in the majors. If they want to get in the race, they’ll need to acquire a hitter, not trade away their best pitcher.

    8. Corey Italiano
      June 29th, 2010 | 11:39 am

      One thing I gotta say, the Mariners seem like they are run by a bunch of idiots. Why would they trade for Russel Branyon?

    9. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 11:47 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Why not? Vazquez in the AL West, in a big ballpark, replaces Lee – if the M’s think they can get into the race. And, Vazquez gets the M’s a draft pick, like Lee would, if he walks. Or, the M’s can turn Vazquez around (to the Mets or Twins?) for more prospects. So, they get a mini-like Lee in Javy – plus what prospects they get from the Yankees in the deal.

      If the M’s think they can get into the race, they’re better off keeping Lee, a better pitcher than Vazquez. Lee also nets a draft pick, as you mentioned. Lee can be dealt to the Mets or Twins for prospects (I’m sure they’re rather have Lee than Vazquez).

      The M’s need players that will be able to help them out, players that are cost controlled. Unless the Yankees are willing to part with Romine or Montero to start, a deal isn’t going to get done.

    10. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 11:49 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      One thing I gotta say, the Mariners seem like they are run by a bunch of idiots. Why would they trade for Russel Branyon?

      The same reason the Yanks traded for Ivan Rodriguez a couple of years ago; he was an improvement over what they were running out there.

    11. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 11:51 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Then Cashman might see his team get bounced in the ALDS again like they did in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

      Acquiring Cliff Lee doesn’t guarantee that they’ll survive the ALDS

    12. June 29th, 2010 | 11:55 am

      Raf wrote:

      Acquiring Cliff Lee doesn’t guarantee that they’ll survive the ALDS

      I like their chances better in a 5 game series throwing Sabathia, Lee and Pettitte (with Hughes and Burnett for long relief) better than having to win 3 of 5 with Sabathia, Pettitte to start and then having to count on Hughes, Burnett or Vazquez to win a start in the middle of the series.

    13. privey
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:02 pm

      Even if this trade Vazquez and prospects for Lee had legs, I believe Vazquez has a clause in his contract that states he can’t be traded to NL/AL west clubs.

    14. privey
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:04 pm

      From Cot’s

      Javier Vazquez rhp
      3 years/$34.5M (2008-10)

      3 years/$34.5M (2008-10)

      signed extension with White Sox 3/07
      08:$11.5M, 09:$11.5M, 10:$11.5M
      limited no-trade clause blocking deals to NL West & AL West clubs
      acquired by Atlanta in trade from White Sox 12/4/08
      acquired by NY Yankees in trade from Atlanta 12/22/09 (Yankees

    15. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:05 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Regardless, they were the favorites from 05-07 and they still didn’t survive the 1st round. Wang-Pettitte-Clemens-Mussina-Johnson, etc weren’t slouches.

    16. MJ Recanati
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:08 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Wang-Pettitte-Clemens-Mussina-Johnson, etc weren’t slouches.

      No joke. Two first-ballot HOF’ers, two borderline HOF’ers and an up-and-coming young guy that was efficient and effective, if nothing else.

    17. June 29th, 2010 | 12:12 pm

      Did you see Lee in the post-season last year? Wang was never close to that.

    18. #15
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:15 pm

      Ichiro and Lee (+ 3 days to make a multiyear deal for Lee) for Swisher and whatever minor leaguer they want. The M’s won’t want Javy. Then we flip Javy for some soild pitching prospect and/or a bullpen stud (might have to be a threeway deal – Javy to a contender and bullpen help/prospect from another team).

      I’m not dissing Swish. He’s been really good for the Yanks, but getting Ichiro will add speed to the team & improve the defense, plus I’ll take Lee over Javy down the stretch, and end up with the much needed bullpen help/prospect.

    19. throwstrikes
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:16 pm

      But Sabathia, Pettitte and Hughes gives you 2 guys with the homegrown effect you seem to like and a young guy you can feel good cheering for when he does well.

      You want to ruin that by getting a high priced free agent?

    20. Corey Italiano
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:17 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      I don’t think anyone is comparing Lee to Wang in that fashion. Just basically saying we had good pitching then, too. (I disagree, Clemens and Big Unit were over the hill and Moose could not be trusted in the playoffs)

    21. Corey Italiano
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:19 pm

      @ #15:
      I’ll take Swisher’s power and OBP over Ichiro’s speed and singles. We have an outfielder who utilizes speed on the basepaths already.

    22. Corey Italiano
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:22 pm

      Also, I dunno if I’m alone in this, but I feel like Swisher is the best defensive right fielder we’ve had in a while. He may make stupid plays on occasion, but when he’s paying attention he goes all out for the ball.

    23. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:23 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Did you see Lee in the post-season last year? Wang was never close to that.

      Regardless, I saw Wang in 2005-6, he got shelled in 2007. I saw Randy Johnson pitch many postseason games, it didn’t help the Yanks in 2005 & 06. Clemens pitched many postseason games, it didn’t help the Yanks in 2007. Same with Mussina.

      Past performance doesn’t guarantee future performance. For all we know, Lee could revert back to his 2007 form for a couple of starts.

    24. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:24 pm

      #15 wrote:

      Ichiro and Lee (+ 3 days to make a multiyear deal for Lee) for Swisher and whatever minor leaguer they want.

      The M’s have no reason to make that deal.

    25. June 29th, 2010 | 12:37 pm

      Raf wrote:

      For all we know, Lee could revert back to his 2007 form for a couple of starts.

      have you seen his k/bb ratio this year?

    26. MJ Recanati
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:38 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Did you see Lee in the post-season last year? Wang was never close to that.

      Did I say Lee and Wang were on equal footing? Shit, I don’t even think I used Lee and Wang in any comment thread together.

    27. June 29th, 2010 | 12:38 pm

      throwstrikes wrote:

      But Sabathia, Pettitte and Hughes gives you 2 guys with the homegrown effect you seem to like and a young guy you can feel good cheering for when he does well.
      You want to ruin that by getting a high priced free agent?

      If you’re replacing Vazquez with Lee it’s a wash. Duh.

    28. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 12:47 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      have you seen his k/bb ratio this year?

      Yes, I have. It still doesn’t guarantee that Lee will have a bad start or two, nor guarantee that the Yanks will win the playoffs, nor guarantee that they will advance past the 1st round with Lee in their rotation.

    29. throwstrikes
      June 29th, 2010 | 1:05 pm

      “If you’re replacing Vazquez with Lee it’s a wash. Duh.”

      No, you said you want to make the move so you would have CC, Lee and Andy for the postseason instead of giving Phil a start which would give you a homegrown talent making less than $1 million dollars to cheer for.

    30. June 29th, 2010 | 1:33 pm

      @ throwstrikes: In the post-season, winning gets the loudest cheer.

    31. G.I. Joey
      June 29th, 2010 | 1:40 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      Also, I dunno if I’m alone in this, but I feel like Swisher is the best defensive right fielder we’ve had in a while. He may make stupid plays on occasion, but when he’s paying attention he goes all out for the ball.

      I feel the same way. I’m still haunted by images of Abreu dropping balls near the wall. Swish has made a lot of great grabs out there and some nice heads up throws that have caught my attention.

    32. June 29th, 2010 | 2:00 pm

      privey wrote:

      Even if this trade Vazquez and prospects for Lee had legs, I believe Vazquez has a clause in his contract that states he can’t be traded to NL/AL west clubs.

      Good find. Then again, maybe for three months of not being able to fly to PR on an off-day he’d be willing to take the trade to get out of NY and pad his stats, with FA coming, by pitching in Safeco?

    33. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 2:44 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Good find. Then again, maybe for three months of not being able to fly to PR on an off-day he’d be willing to take the trade to get out of NY and pad his stats, with FA coming, by pitching in Safeco?

      It’s a limited NTC so it’s a possibility, but what would be Vazquez’s motivation to do so? He has a perfect situation in NY; big PR community, frequent flights to PR and a contending team. Doesn’t seem to be the type to give that up to chase a buck.

    34. June 29th, 2010 | 2:46 pm

      @ Raf: All NTC deals are code for “If you do this, you have to pay me more.”

    35. #15
      June 29th, 2010 | 3:16 pm

      @ Raf:
      SALARY DUMP!

    36. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 3:44 pm

      @ #15:

      Vazquez is making more than Lee, I doubt that the Yanks would send money and top prospects over to the M’s and the M’s are going to want ML ready or close to it talent in return. And to add to that, I don’t see the M’s giving Lee up for a pitcher that will also walk away after the 2010 season.

    37. #15
      June 29th, 2010 | 4:41 pm

      Raf,
      I was talking about my earlier comment to swap Ichiro and Lee for Swisher and a minor league prospect. They get someone (us) to give them serious salary options for next year, adequately replace their right fielder, and probably get a young catcher. I agree, letting Lee go and taking Javy in return gets them nothing and saves them little if anything.

      Corey,
      Hey, I like Swish. I like what he’s done and what he’s doing a lot. Given the ~ 11MM salary difference and the age difference, I’m not saying Swish for Ichiro, on it’s own, is a home run. But getting both Lee and Ichiro and losing only Swisher off the 25 man roster, and gaining the ability to flip Javy for bullpen help/pitching prospects lines up up nicely for a solid run this year. I always advocate that when you have a chance to win a WS, go for it. Ichiro can reach the seats in NY, still has that cannon arm, may steal ~ 20-25+ more bases the rest of the way, and gives us a speed demon outfield, corner to corner.

      Related…. I would guess that we may have Hughes for the pen late in the year or in the post season. If he can do what he did last year – great. I still see bullpen question marks as one of our big holes. As well as… Jeter, Tex and A-Rod performing below trend (but showing some signs), Burnett being lost (Eiland deserves pitching coach of the year if he can straighten him out), Granderson’s strike outs in high leverage situations, and inexperienced pinch hitting options/bench players.

    38. Raf
      June 29th, 2010 | 5:02 pm

      #15 wrote:

      I was talking about my earlier comment to swap Ichiro and Lee for Swisher and a minor league prospect.

      Ah, gotcha. The M’s would be insane to make that trade. Ichiro is their franchise player.

    39. Corey Italiano
      June 29th, 2010 | 6:34 pm

      #15 wrote:

      Corey,
      Hey, I like Swish. I like what he’s done and what he’s doing a lot. Given the ~ 11MM salary difference and the age difference, I’m not saying Swish for Ichiro, on it’s own, is a home run. But getting both Lee and Ichiro and losing only Swisher off the 25 man roster, and gaining the ability to flip Javy for bullpen help/pitching prospects lines up up nicely for a solid run this year. I always advocate that when you have a chance to win a WS, go for it. Ichiro can reach the seats in NY, still has that cannon arm, may steal ~ 20-25+ more bases the rest of the way, and gives us a speed demon outfield, corner to corner.

      I agree that when you have a chance to win the world series with a move you should take it. I think, however, this team is going to win the world series without a move. I actually think, with the lack of power production thus far from our 3-4 guys, we are a better team with Swisher.

    40. 77yankees
      June 29th, 2010 | 7:47 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Raf wrote:
      Wang-Pettitte-Clemens-Mussina-Johnson, etc weren’t slouches.
      No joke. Two first-ballot HOF’ers, two borderline HOF’ers and an up-and-coming young guy that was efficient and effective, if nothing else.

      Pitchers just can’t throw their gloves out there and automatically win championships for their teams. The 1971 Orioles: Four 20 game winners – lost the World Series.

      And what about the mid-late 90s Braves? Two first ballot HOF in Maddux & Glavine and an eventual HOF in Smoltz, who was the best big game pitcher of the three. And only one championship to show for it.

    41. June 29th, 2010 | 9:37 pm

      I’d trade Vazquez and prospects in a second for Lee, but I do have to agree with the folks who question the deal from Seattle’s point of view.

    42. MJ Recanati
      June 30th, 2010 | 7:45 am

      @ 77yankees:
      The point was made that the Yanks had a pretty darn good pitching staff in those years and still lost in the first round of the playoffs. That’s all I was saying.

    43. Jake1
      June 30th, 2010 | 8:54 am

      Real simple. Trade Romine for Lee straight up and put Hughes in the pen. Solves two problems real easy. Saves the pen and doesnt let Hughes hit these innings limits they are so scared of. The M’s would jump for joy getting a top 40 prospect and a catcher to boot.

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