Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News is reporting the Yankees have traded outfielder Melky Cabrera, LHP Michael Dunn, and another prospect for RHP Javier Vazquez and LHP Boone Logan. Vazquez will make $11.5 million in 2010.
There were tons of rumors flying last night about whom the Yankees were working to acquire, and it should come as no surprise that Cashman was, in fact, targeting ex-Yankee Javier Vazquez. If you recall, Cashman wanted to hold on to him, but Steinbrenner forced his hand, and Vazquez was dealt to the Diamondbacks for Randy Johnson.
Javier Vazquez is quite an addition for this Yankees team. The guy is an innings-eater who goes out and makes every start. He has thrown 198 or more innings in each of the past 10 seasons. Not only that, but he gives you quality innings. Vazquez is a guy who routinely strikes out over eight batters per nine innings.
Right now, Vazquez is being pegged as the Yankees' fourth starter, behind CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Andy Pettitte. While that's where he fits into the rotation, Vazquez is not a back-of-the-rotation pitcher. This gives the Yankees tremendous starting pitching depth.
In return, the Yankees gave up a few useful pieces and an unknown prospect. Melky Cabrera has become a fan favorite over his time in pinstripes, but was always mentioned on the trading block, and I believe Brian Cashman dealt him at the right time.
As Melky gets further along in arbitration, his value continues to decrease as his salary increases. Cabrera is the type of player who is great to have around when he's very cheap, but is perfect trade fodder when he begins to make real money.
Michael Dunn is a converted outfielder who throws tremendously hard with his left hand, but is extremely lacking in control. He has a ton of upside as a reliever if he can cut his walks down, but there is no guarantee that he can do that. If he continues to walk nearly a batter every inning, he won't have a place in the majors.
It appears the third player given up will be a highly heralded pitching prospect, Arodys Vizcaino. This is probably the hardest part of the deal to swallow. He has shown tremendous polish and stuff, giving him a very high ceiling. Baseball America recently ranked him the Yankees' best pitching prospect, and third-best prospect overall.
This trade means a few other things for the Yankees as well. Either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain will most likely shift to the bullpen, unless the Yankees want to get one of them starting opportunities in Triple-A. The Yankees rotation, as it stands right now, is on par with the best rotations in baseball.
You have to give up something to get something, and that's what the Yankees did. In the process, the team is much improved heading into 2010.
There is still a question about left field, though. With the way the rest of the team is shaping up, I wouldn't mind the Yankees going into the season with an outfield including Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Swisher. The Yankees would still look like the best team in baseball.