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The Braves were "thrilled" to do the Vazquez deal

Dec 23, 2009, 2:05 PM EDT

Maybe it’s not how they drew it up, but Mark Bowman* of MLB.com reports that the Braves were getting very little interest in Vazquez outside of the Yankees as no one outside of his no-trade clause (i.e. the NL and AL West) was willing to pay $10M+ for a pitcher while giving up any talent in exchange. Sure, maybe the Braves could have eaten some salary, but if they were going to do that they would have done so with Lowe.  Like it or not, the team has a budget.

So as it stands, Bowman reports, “the Braves were thrilled when the Yankees were interested enough in
Vazquez to highlight this five-player trade with the inclusion of
Arodys Vizcaino . . .”

I’ll admit that my biggest problem with handicapping deals is that I focus too much on whether the players/money that comes back is useful for the receiving team and not enough on whether the deal is, you know, fair. Cabrera, Vizcaino and the cash are useful for the Braves. They’re not equal in value to Vazquez.

But at the same time, many people who focus on how uneven this or any other trade is often fail to acknowledge that this isn’t the stock market and there aren’t always optimal, equitable deals to be had.  Sure, sometimes maybe you do no deal before doing a bad one, but it’s probably worth remembering that the business of trading and signing players is closer to an art than a science.

*Bowman notes in his post that he spent part of yesterday driving on “the twists and turns on West Virginia’s mountainous turnpike.”  As a proud product of Exit 48 I envy him. There isn’t a better road to haul ass on east of the Mississippi than the stretch between Charleston and Beckley. 

  1. Eat a Peach - Dec 23, 2009 at 2:29 PM

    When this trade was first announced my first thought was that the Yanks probably doubled the next best offer. As such I will give more weight to this guy who agrees with me.
    Now Craig, if you’ve had enough of arguing with the mesomorph over at the Bradley parody, could you please address the idea that the Braves should continue to try to dump as much of Derek Lowe’s salary as they can and give the 5th starter job to Medlen?

  2. ecp - Dec 23, 2009 at 3:00 PM

    That’s the problem with evaluating trades that include non-major-league-ready prospects: You really don’t know if a package of Cabrera, Vizcaino, Dunn (you forgot him), and cash is equal to Vazquez. Certainly not at the moment for the big league team, but you can’t really judge it by that standard. If Vizcaino turns into a better pitcher than Javy at his best, would you change your tune?
    (By the way, Craig, thanks for keeping the fires burning today – everybody else seems to have started their Christman breaks already.)

  3. David - Dec 23, 2009 at 4:01 PM

    2 quick points to consider here. First, when does a GM or front office official giving a quote to the press regarding a deal they just made, not say they are “thrilled” or “excited” over it (read: Frank Wren dealing Tex for Kotchman)? The day I see a GM be honest and say that they were hoping for more or could have done better is the day I nominate said GM for the Exec of the Year award for not treating us like idiots. Second, considering Arodys and Dunn are supposedly top ranked prospects in the Yankees system, I am not sure if whether that reflects on the prospects themselves or the Yankees system. Either way, I report, you decide. Happy Holidays to you and yours Craig.

  4. Ben - Dec 23, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    Digging the footnoting… But, I do have to wonder: is “Calcaterra” Italian for “Posnanski”?

  5. The Rabbit - Dec 23, 2009 at 8:20 PM

    There isn’t a better road to haul ass on east of the Mississippi than the stretch between Charleston and Beckley.

    The best road to haul ass on east of the Mississippi is Route 79 from Charleston to Morgantown when there isn’t construction. You should try it on a motorcycle in the fall.

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