Christmas Gets Sweeter? Maybe …

Javier Vazquez

The Yankees are reportedly close to trading Melky Cabrera among others for
Javier Vazquez, from the Braves. Who’s the winner in this deal? Quite possibly the
Red Sox. While Vazquez is a healthy pitcher, and makes a decent #4 in the Yankee
rotation, I can’t help but think that Melky was a better asset for them, not only for
right now, but also the long run.

Vazquez is seasonally a 10-15 game winner who gives up a decent amount of runs,
but is someone who tends to always stay healthy, and eats up innings like a
homeless guy invited to Christmas dinner. But who will the Yankees throw into the
outfield this season? They have Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher. Granderson
is arguably one of the best center fielders in the game, but Swisher is ranked as average and for some crazy reason is the only Yankee that can’t hit it out of the right field vortex, although defensively he can play anywhere in the outfield, or at first base. Who mans
left field? Does this now mean that they’ll go after Damon if he’s willing to take a pay
decrease? Maybe they give Brett Gardner a chance, or they resign Xavier Nady?
Regardless, I can’t help but think Melky was the best option they had in the outfield
for this coming year, and as a spearhead of the team for the future. Not to mention,
he is/was a fan favorite at Yankee Stadium.

Jacoby Ellsbury

So what does this mean for the Red Sox? With the Yankees bolstering their rotation
further, it gives them a chance to turn Chamberlain or Hughes into a set-up man /
future closer. Getting someone like Vazquez gives them some more flexibility with
their rotation. When the Red Sox signed Cameron and Lackey, they increased their
defensive ability and improved their pitching staff to the point that it was potentially
better than the Yankees. Now, they could be considered equal, meaning the
Yankees have the upper hand with a strong offense. With Jason Bay now with
seemingly no market value, does Epstein put an offer of $60MM / 4 Years back on
the table? It’s obvious Bay is waiting for something from the Sox or another team,
because he clearly doesn’t want to play in Citi Field. And if Epstein was to resign
Bay, it gives him the flexibility to deal Ellsbury to the Padres. As much as I’d hate to
see Ellsbury go, if it means the added power of Bay and Gonzalez, I think I’d
get over it rather quickly. Maybe Vazquez going to the Yanks will push Theo to go
get both Bay and Adrian Gonzalez.

The suspense is killing me …

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6 comments

  1. Jane Heller

    Interesting. So you think the Red Sox are still in the Bay sweepstakes? And I’m surprised you’d be OK with trading Ellsbury. I thought he was such a fan favorite. On the other hand, every team has needs to fill, as the Yankees showed with Vazquez-Cabrera, so we all have to be prepared for goodbyes. Should be an exciting season.

    http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

  2. fryingpan

    This is really killing me too! I hadn’t really thought about the value the Vazquez move brings to the Red Sox, but now that you sum it up, it really makes a lot of sense. Thanks! I hope that it works out for Bay, but it seems really unlikely right now. Nice post, there were a lot of sides to the Vazquez deal I missed.

    -AL
    http://fryingpan.mlblogs.com/

  3. sox4life13

    Jane – I don’t really know if they are in the sweepstakes, but it’s no secret that the Sox are willing to offer another decent-sized contract if they’re getting a quality slugger out of it. The debate over Bay is over whether or not he could still be defensively capable in the field. If the Mets aren’t going to offer him a fifth year, maybe he accepts the original Sox offer, provided it comes back on the table. As for Ellsbury, he’d be sadly missed … but in the end he’s just an average fielder. I’d happily give up his 70 SB for 40 HR if we had someone like Bay still in the field.

    Al – It’s really unfortunate that this is happening to Bay. I don’t know if he agent played one too many games with the Sox, or if it was Bay being greedy, but he’s a quality act that always wanted to keep playing in Boston. We would be okay without him, but it sure would be nice to see him thriving in Fenway. He has a swing built for the Monster.

  4. bklyntrolleyblogger

    1) Melkey played his way out of town. He was too interested in goofing off in the dugout with Cano. Cashman and Girardi both agreed it would be a good idea to demote him back to the farm so he could rethink his approach, in 2008. He never really progressed as a player. He is good defensively with a good arm (which is what the Yanks really need out of CF and LF, having gotten Death Valley closer to it’s original dimensions). Now that the deal is done he might be better off in the N.L.
    2) Remember? Javier Vasquez gave up that Grand Slam to Johnny Damon in the 2004 ALCS. I do! Where’s Kevin Brown? And the Yankees are really mismanaging Joba and Hughes’ developement so I wouldn’t worry about them in 2010 (check me out and see why they are clueless when it comes to producing starting pitchers from their farm).
    3) I’m surprised to hear you being so agreeable with regards to trading Ells. Sure getting A-Gonz from San Diego would be cool. I’m skeptical about the rumors I’ve been hearing about the Red Sox packaging Ells and Buchholz. I think Buchholz is your “ace-in-the-hole”, so to say. See number 4.
    4) One through four, I think the Sox have a better starting rotation. I see it 3 pitchers Sox, one Yanks.
    5) I hope the Mets do not offer Jason Bay a 5th year! Please!?!
    6) Go Sox!

  5. sox4life13

    I don’t think any fan of the Yankees or Red Sox forget that Game 7 Grand Slam. Even now, I thank Vazquez every morning for letting Damon get back in his groove. As for the rotations, I tend to agree with you. As a unit, the Sox can out-pitch the Yankees. Burnett and Pettitte may have a good game every now and then, but over the course of a season Lester and Lackey statistically should be able to pitch them into the ground. If Pettitte could pull off in the regular season what he does every time he’s in the post-season, I might be worried. As for Bay, I don’t see the Mets offering him a 5th year unless Boston signing them becomes imminent, which for some reason I don’t see happening any time soon. Regardless of the things I’ve said about Bay in the past, I love the way he played the Monster, and the way he handled himself at the plate, minus the slumps. I’d love to see him back in the field next year… Here’s to hoping!

  6. ryan_lee

    I could not imagine you guys trading Jacoby Ellsbury. Even though he’s only been in the bigs for a couple of years, he’s one of the players I think of when I think of the Red Sox and one of the guys on the Sox I like. Still, I wouldn’t put it past Theo. He’s made some questionable moves in the past (as all GMs have).
    –Ryan

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