Heading into last season, the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees hooked up on a deal that ruffled many Atlanta Braves fan’s feathers. They traded Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan to the Yankees for Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino. Vazquez was coming off his best statistical year of his career with the Braves. The Braves had been rumored to be trying to trade Derek Lowe, but Vazquez found himself on the outside looking in.
The immediate impact of this trade was not good for either team. The Braves suffered through Cabrera’s theatrical defensive performances and inconsistent bat, while the Yankees watched Vazquez get hammered for his second stint through New York. Cabrera hit .255/.317/.354 with 4 home runs and only 42 rbis. Vazquez went 10-10 with a 5.32 ERA in 31 games, which includes 26 starts.
The problem with the trade, for the Yankees, was not Cabrera and Vazquez necessarily. Both were horrible in 2010 and essentially balanced each other out. The part of the deal that doesn’t make sense is that the Braves were able to get Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino in the deal.
The Yankees received Boone Logan as well. He pitched well for the Yankees in 2010. He had a 2.93 ERA with a 1.35 WHIP in 40 innings pitched. Not bad. Not great. But, a valuable piece to the Yankee bullpen.
Mike Dunn pitched well for the Braves in 2010 as well. He had a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings of relief pitching for Atlanta. But that is not where Dunn was most valuable. What has Mike Dunn provided the Braves? How about Dan Uggla. The Braves shipped Dunn and Omar Infante to the Marlins for Uggla and then signed him to a 5 year extension. This makes the Braves the victor in the trade with the Yankees.
I haven’t mentioned Arodys Vizcaino. He was also sent to the Braves in the deal. He was one of the Yankees’ top prospects headed into last year. He added another dynamic arm to a deep class of dynamic arms that the Braves have coming up. He is viewed in the same class as the Braves’ top young arms, Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran. In Baseball America’s recently released Top 100 players in the Major Leagues, he is ranked #93. He has the potential to haunt the Yankees for years.
With that said, the Braves clearly took advantage of the Yankees in the deal in hindsight.
Now, the Yankees are starving for pitching headed into 2011. They missed out on Cliff Lee when he spurned them to return to Philadelphia. They lost Andy Pettitte to retirement. They still have the workhorse, CC Sabathia to lead their rotation. They have an up and coming talent in Phil Hughes. They have the disastrous AJ Burnett in the rotation, who has shown signs of brilliance and then signs of batting practice. After that, there are huge question marks.
Needless to say, the Yankees are starved for starting pitching. The Braves have a surplus with Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, Derek Lowe, Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy and the recently added Rodrigo Lopez. This does not include the exiled Kenshin Kawakami.
The Yankees have called asking for Tim Hudson for no other reason than they feel that the Braves owe them something because of the trade for Vazquez. The Braves have shown no willingness or given any signals that they would be interested in trading any of their pitchers, let alone Tim Hudson. Realistically, who would the Yankees give the Braves for Hudson?
Makes no sense to me.