So what are the chances, if any, that the Braves would deal starter Javier Vazquez to their heated division rival?
The Braves are getting to the point where they have decide whether they’re buyers, sellers, or stand-patters (is that a word?). Players who a year ago were thought to be cornerstones, like Yunel Escobar and Jeff Franceour, are said to be available—as is the recently acquired Vazquez.
They made a move earlier this season when they acquired outfielder Nate McLouth from the Pirates, but haven’t made tremendous progress since he came on board.
With young starters Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson looking like building blocks for the next decade, the Braves might not be opposed to sending the soon-to-be 33-year old Vazquez north for some decent prospects, and look to compete in 2010 and beyond.
Vazquez is only 5-7 in 17 starts, but he has a stellar 3.05 ERA—and, even more impressive, a 1.07 WHIP. Pair that with his 130/23 K/BB ratio and you have a guy who could help a struggling rotation (taking away this weekend’s sweep of a terrible Mets team) in a big way.
Would you give up Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, and maybe a Zach Collier for Vazquez?
He’s signed through 2010 (at the beginning of the season, Vazquez was signed through 2010 for a total of $23 million).
Furthermore, the Braves only gave up prospects—Tyler Flowers, third baseman Jon Gilmore, pitcher Santos Rodriguez and infielder Brent Lillibrigde—when they acquired him from the White Sox this past off-season.
None of them are expected to be stars.
As far as postseason performance is concerned, the jury is still out on whether Javier can be a big game pitcher. He
faltered down the stretch with the White Sox in 2008 and has been rocked in his three postseason appearances. He has a career 10.34 ERA in 15.2 post-season innings).
Still, the guy can get folks out, and he may be the most talented pitcher available this summer.
What would you give up for him? If you’re the Braves, would you sell him to a division rival? Do you even want him?
All good questions.