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Rumors: Vazquez, Chapman, King Felix

Nov 1, 2009, 1:36 PM EDT

With the offseason just days away, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune is back with his latest batch of rumors to preheat the Hot Stove.

Among them, he floats Javier Vazquez
as a possible trade candidate now that Tim Hudson is expected to
finalize an extension with the Braves this week. Vazquez had one of the
most unsung seasons in the majors this season, going 15-10 with a 2.87
ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 238 strikeouts (2nd in the NL). The Braves are
looking to bolster an outfield that hit just .262/.329/.397 with a
measly .726 OPS (27th in MLB).

While I agree that the Braves should
sell-high on Vazquez, where Rogers loses me is when he names Seattle as
a potential destination for Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman. His
logic? The Mariners are possibly hoping to acquire another front-line
arm before Felix Hernandez bolts for free agency after the 2011 season.

Listen, I’m well aware that
Hernandez, represented by Alan Nero, will almost certainly test the
open market, most likely landing in New York or Boston; it’s a sad
reality of our game. However, if there was any time to make a major financial commitment to a pitcher — Chapman is rumored to be asking for $40-60
million —
King Felix is the one. Nevermind the fact that the Mariners have almost
no chance of landing the 21-year-old Chapman.

If they’re really thinking about life after King Felix, they might as well trade him for Clay Buchholz right now.

  1. Mark Runsvold - Nov 1, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    I think the Braves would be making a mistake by trading Vazquez. Sure, he won’t have another season better than this last one, but he’s been consistently good for years. I don’t think 200 innings of 3.5 FIP pitching would be at all unrealistic for Vazquez going forward.
    Derek Lowe, on the other hand, took a nosedive this season. He was worse in basically every way. I say the Braves should trade Lowe before he falls off a cliff and they’re stuck paying him for another 3 years. He still has upside as a top-flight number two starter (or an ace on a weaker team) so it wouldn’t be the worst idea for somebody to take a risk by trading for him (provided they don’t give up too much and the Braves eat some salary).

  2. hop - Nov 1, 2009 at 4:14 PM

    Trade Felix for Clay Buchholz? Who is writing this garbage a redsuk fan? Come on! That would be a horrible trade for seattle, there is no doubt they can rake in a LOT more than just Clay buchholz if they wanted! I dont believe seattle would be so stupid to seattle for that deal, no way.

  3. D.J. Short - Nov 1, 2009 at 4:19 PM

    If you’d click on the link, you’d see the supposed list of players that was offered to Seattle for Hernandez. Buchholz was one of them. This article is talking specifically about potential front-line starters, of which Buchholz has an equal chance of being, if we are comparing him to Chapman, but at half the price. Obviously he would cost more than Buchholz. That wasn’t the point.

  4. Mark Runsvold - Nov 1, 2009 at 5:09 PM

    It’ll be truly nutty if Chapman gets more money than Strasburg. From what I understand, he has one plus pitch (the not-actually-100-mph heater) and spotty command. He has barely any track record against high-level competition and has all of the red flags that come with being a Cuban defector. Yet people speak of him like it’s just a matter of getting him signed and plugging him into somebody’s rotation. I don’t get it.

  5. Cru11 - Nov 2, 2009 at 12:50 AM

    I agree with Mark. I don’t know why Chapman is supposedly running the market? Hes a young kid who has blown away 19 yr old Cuban amateurs. Am I missing something?

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