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REPORT: Yankees acquire Javier Vazquez and a reliever from the Braves for Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn

Dec 22, 2009, 9:50 AM EDT

Javier Vazquez headshot.pngMultiple sources, including Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman and the Daily News’ Mark Feinsand are reporting that the Yankees and Braves have agreed to a trade in which the Braves will send starter Javier Vazquez and reliever Boone Logan to the Yankees in exchange for Melky Cabrera, lefty Mike Dunn and an as yet unnamed prospect. UPDATE: Joel Sherman tweets that the prospect is righty pitcher Arodys Vizcaino, who he says impressed in a short season for Staten Island this year. [random thought: with that name, how many Braves fans can I fool by saying that they got "Arod" from the Yankees?]

Instant analysis: the Braves and their fans would probably rather have Nick Swisher, but Melky may translate well to the NL, and Nate McLouth — despite his gold glove — could slide over to left field where he probably belongs.  For the Yankees, Vazquez would help fill out a rotation that currently looks light once you get beyond Sabathia and Burnett.  Pettitte is going to crater one of these days. I’ve never bought the notion that the Yankees would put both Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes in the rotation. Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre are not exactly championship starters.

The big question: did the Yankees buy-high on Vazquez? He’s coming off his best season and given his strikeout rate, there’s good reason to believe that he’ll be highly effective in 2010. But he does give up a lot of dingers, and that will only get worse in the bandbox that is New Yankee Stadium.

Ultimately, however, Melky Cabrera is eminently replaceable, and Vazquez solidifies the rotation, which was one of Brian Cashman’s top priorities, so it’s a good deal for New York, even if the talk radio freaks will be complaining about his performance in 2004 all day.

  1. scott - Dec 22, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    DAMON NOT COMING BACK…
    just reported of course… this does not mean Damon is coming back… the first question all reporters have asked Cashman already..

  2. scott - Dec 22, 2009 at 11:49 AM

    to Answer me this?
    JV got tooled in the LCS by the Red sox in o4.. look it up.. 7 runs in 6 innings.. cant pitch in a big spot.. once again.. who is playing left field now?
    carl crawford in 2010… remember they sign him for 100 million what are you paying jeter in 2010? contract up too !

  3. YANKEES1996 - Dec 22, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    O.k. Johnny here is your second chance, don’t let Scott Boras ruin it as you probably won’t get a third chance. When the Yankees call Johnny remember you said you want to play in NY and remember your age and be humble when the Yankees make you an offer. I said HUMBLE not GREEDY or STUPID and don’t let your idiot agent say anything.
    I like Vazquez in our rotation he eats innings and his strikeout totals are good. I will miss Melky however he is a good fielder and a clutch hitter.

  4. DiamondDuq - Dec 22, 2009 at 12:10 PM

    Jimmy, don’t go overboard on the chemistry thing. Damon is a DH at best anymore since he has diminishing range and never has been able to throw. Granderson is more than an upgrade over Damon and a high character guy as well. His addition will be seamless to the team’s chemistry. Matsui may have 1 more decent year in him at best but with 2 bad legs it’s going to be hard to sustain his power. Nick Johnson is a slight downgrade in power but what he brings in OBP is huge in front of Tex and A-Rod and you never know how his number will improve hitting in New Yankee Stadium and seeing a lot more fastballs in the 2-spot. The Yankees have yet to do anything that should lead you to believe their chemistry is shaken. Granderson and Johnson are relatively quiet guys who seem to be very professional, exactly the personalities that represent the Yankees, and Vasquez was there not too long ago so is semi-familiar with many of the guys. While I believe Swisher brings a lot to the clubhouse, the Yankees could do a lot better in RF.

  5. ed from tampa - Dec 22, 2009 at 12:13 PM

    I’m a little surprised that the Yanks trade Cabrerra now – their OF is clearly weak (some would say weak enough to win the WS, I guess), and my Yankee friends down here say that Carl Crawford is a high priority for them…but CC is under contract for this season for the Rays, and there is no way he’d get traded to the Yankees mid season under any circumstances by the Rays…
    And what happens if CC decided that $10-12 million is enough to stay in St. Pete? I can’t say for sure that CC gives the Rays a home team discount, but his attitude towards the team is 180 degrees away from where it was a few seasons ago.
    So I’m not really sure what they Yanks are hoping for in the OF. Granderson and whom else?
    As I stated, their weak OF did not hurt them last year, and neither did their advanced ages at a lot of positions. But how long can you hide a horrible outfield and keep one step ahead of father time?

  6. AJ Gallo - Dec 22, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    I don’t know, I’m really conflicted on this. At first blush, I didn’t like the trade. I’m thinking I still don’t. There’s a lot to be said for good chemistry on a team and Melky was excellent in that regard and a big contributor towards it. He hustled every play and every at-bat. Plus, Vazquez didn’t exactly shine in his first go-round in New York. His problem was he couldn’t handle the pressure of pitching in New York. Will it be different this time around? Who knows? I still would have preferred Ben Sheets.

  7. Joey D - Dec 22, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    Smart move by the Yankees and hopefully Gardner will get a chance in LF and not Bay/NOHolliday or Damon.
    Melky is a solid outfielder and will do well with the Braves.
    Grand in left-Gardner in center and Swish in right !!!!!

  8. Joey D - Dec 22, 2009 at 12:23 PM

    Smart move by the Yankees and hopefully Gardner will get a chance in and not Bay/NOHolliday or Damon.
    Melky is a solid outfielder and will do well with the Braves.
    Grand in left-Gardner in center and Swish in right !!!!!

  9. Boblight - Dec 22, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    What’s going on with X Nady. Is he healthy? If so, let Johnny go, if not sign Johnny. . I think Chamberlain should head for the bullpen and set up Rivera. Hughs would be good as their fifth starter. Gauranteed, Hughs if he stays a Yankee will be an excellent starting pitcher, probably number 2 behind CC in a year or two.. Can Cervini take over as number 1 catcher, next year?

  10. Tom - Dec 22, 2009 at 12:37 PM

    Do you seriously think that the Yankees are going to start Gardner? The team with the highest payroll and highest expectations is going to employ one of the worst outfielders in the majors? I seriously doubt it. I expect Holliday will be signed fairly soon.

  11. Joey B - Dec 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    “@Joey B…
    I agree with everything you said EXCEPT that the Braves didn’t sell like they were selling high. They sold like they were desperate.
    I hate this trade. Unless it turns out that another potential trade partner wants something we just got from the Yankees.”
    I really don’t think you say that. The $11.5M could literally pay for close to two seasons for LaRouche. The prospects could be quite good. I’m sure there were TX fans in here thinking that TX sold low on Tex, getting only a handful of kids like Andrus, Feliz, etc. These aren’t 25 y.o. former prospects putting up AAAA numbers. I think it will work out fine for Atl, but you won’t know for sure for 3-4 years.

  12. ecp - Dec 22, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    What did Vazquez do so bad in 2004? How about game 7 of the ALCS against the dreaded Red Sox, when he gave up a Johnny Damon grand slam? Never mind the rest of his year; that at-bat is all that counts.

  13. John_Michael - Dec 22, 2009 at 12:47 PM

    Any one know how far Vazquez can regress and still be considered a Type A free agent if he leaves after 2010? No one’s talking about the first round draft pick the Yankees also potentially received in the trade.

  14. Bob Monteith - Dec 22, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    Start printing Yankee World Series tickets.
    Best team in baseball just got better..

  15. A Munson Man - Dec 22, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    As a long time Yankee fan – I am upset to hear this. It seemed this past year that Cashman and crew finally made the decision to let some of the younguns grow up as Yanks, develop and contribute daily. For the last several years Melky has been huge for the Team – I remember a stretch early in the year (or maybe it was 2008) when he was the only one hitting, and throughout the year he came up big time and again. While he may not have the gaudiest numbers overall – he certainly responded well in clutch situations – how many of those late game heroics this year involved Melky in some way – either getting the big RBI or being the guy that came home.
    ALSO – without the big ego he is somebody that could actually bunt when needed, knows how to go the other way, takes walks, …great arm (how many extra runs did not score because runners dare not try to go home on his arm), covers a lot of ground in the field, steals bases…. Melky may not be Joe D, but he is a fantastic everyday player and a huge part of this years success.
    I had hoped to see him have a long NY career – a la Bernie, Jeter, and Posada. Now I just sit fearing a turn back to the “must buy the most expensive players” days – shaking my head.

  16. Steve - Dec 22, 2009 at 1:33 PM

    While I lament the loss of Melky, I am going to be extremely extremely upset if Cashman resigns Johnny Damon. This will go down in history as the trade that cost Cashman his job if because of it he re inks that fool Damon.

  17. YANKEES1996 - Dec 22, 2009 at 2:13 PM

    If you look at the Yankees and what their trying to do some of these moves this offseason make sense. Cash has already said he is not that enthused about this years FA market, reducing payroll is going to give them SERIOUS ammo for next years free agent market. Trading Melky was probably going to happen this off-season anyway either for Halladay or someone else, in this case Vazquez. The outfield is actually better even without Melky. I am not a huge Granderson fan but him and Gardner are better than Melky and Damon. I still think that because of the payroll reduction plan the Yanks will resign Damon, but this is definitely his last chance to return to the Bronx. Damon is worth resigining because he had a great 09′ season but he has to be realistic about the money and number of years. It would suprise me to see the Yankees take a run at Holliday or Bay because they have a solid outfield in place, it is not great but it is solid. It does not appear that the Yankees want to lock up Holliday or Bay for the length of time they’re agents are asking for or the money that is wanted. I can’t believe I’m saying this but the Yankees do appear to be in conservation mode and appear to be waiting for next years free agent market.

  18. DiamondDuq - Dec 23, 2009 at 8:13 AM

    ed, what are you talking about? The Yankees currently have 2 of the top 10 HR hitting OF from last year in all of baseball and a good defensive CF in Gardner. “Keep one step ahead of Father Time”? They’ve just gotten younger! They got 4 years younger at DH and 8 years younger in LF! 5 of their 8 starting position players are under the age of 30! They’re in the process of getting younger and turning a page but until Jeter and A-Rod and Rivera etc. are retired they’re still perennial WS contenders and can’t just have a youth movement. The problem the Yankees have is that they’re always acquiring players. When was the last time the Yankees traded a quality player for high profile prospects that are going to be 23 year old phenoms? They don’t because 1.) they’re always in contention and 2.) if the Yankees are dumping them, they must not be that good. The only way the Yankees develop young talent is to draft it which puts a lot of pressure on their scouting department and minor league system. They have another piece in waiting behind Posada and Hughes and Joba are just in their mid 20’s. I personally think they have a tremendous balance between older and younger players, high-end guys and role players, and they still have that core group of guys to teach the young players what it is to “be a Yankee”.

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  23. Pauline Release - Mar 4, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    Umh, that’s a nice set of legs, what time do they open?

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