Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Catching Up to the Hot Stove

A loyal reader told the Fan he was disappointed not to get a FanDome opinion of the latest moves in the Hot Stove season. Well...the Fan did point out that posts would be a bit sporadic until after Christmas due to company concerns. But, the statement is a bit flattering just the same. After all, when someone cares about what a writer says about anything is a good thing. So, okay, let's catch up a bit with some of the moves we've seen, starting with most recent to those further back.

This Fan is not thrilled with the recent Yankee deal netting Javier Vazquez for Melky Cabrera and prospects. It's not losing Cabrera that is a problem here. He became expendable ("fungable" in Rob Neyer's words) with the addition of Curtis Granderson. What is disappointing here is that the Yankees are back to trading good prospects for old players. Vazquez is 34. His best years have been in the National League. He already pitched unsuccessfully for the Yankees. He has a 12+ ERA in the post season. He just doesn't seem to fare well in high pressure situations. And, did the Fan mention that he is 34? This seems more like a 2003 Yankee move and we all know how those turned out.

The Cubs traded troublesome Milton Bradley to the Mariners for Carlos Silva. As usual, the Cubs got the worst end of this deal. Don't they always? Bradley at least has some recent history of success. Silva has been Illva for a long, long time. Way to go, Cubbies.

The big winner in the big trade was the Phillies. The Blue Jays lost an icon, and not a false one. He was a true hero and much loved in Toronto. Plus, by the way, he's been the best pitcher in baseball for eight years now. The Fan isn't a big fan of Cliff Lee. He has some dazzling moments and he has some clunkers. That goes for games during a season and for years in his career. Yeah, he was great in the post season. Yeah, he's a lefty. But if the Fan is a captain on CBS's Survivor, the Fan would always choose Halladay over Lee. Always. Let's hope for Toronto's fans' sake that the prospects turn out great.

The Yankees spurn Damon and sign Nick Johnson. Can Johnson play any outfield? Damon has never been a player to feel all gooey about. He swings and a girl. Apologies, but he does. But he's been an effective player for a long time. Johnson can't be depended upon. Then again, Damon seems to come up with a lame calf every other week these days, so maybe he was near done anyway.

Not since the Yankees traded for Goose Gossage the year after Sparky Lyle won the Cy Young has a situation occurred where a guy who wins the World Series MVP is allowed to walk away so easily. Where Greg Nettles once said that Lyle went from Cy Young to Syonara has a player gone from MVP (most valuable player) to MVP (moving van player). Hideki? Thanks for the World Series. Maybe you can get a better hairstyle in Los Angeles. Golly, you sure need one.

Speaking of the Angels, Bobby Abreu was worth only $5 million to them last year and is now worth $10 million per season for two more seasons? Good luck with that one.

Jason Marquis signed with the Nationals for two seasons. Say what!? Why would he do that? Didn't any contender want him? The guy has been solid for a long time. What gives there? Maybe the Nationals are on the rise. Who knows. Maybe Marquis knows something we don't.

The Braves signed Billy Wagner? Wasn't he retiring after last season? That's what all the stories about him said. Guess he went all Favre on us. Wagner might not be better than Soriano, who the Braves traded to Tampa Bay. At least not the Wagner in this stage of his career.

Meanwhile, the Mets have done diddly.

The Red Sox got Lackey. Is it okay of the Fan isn't overly impressed with that one? Lackey is decent, but he can be had and they way overpaid for him for way too long a period.

Coco Crisp signed a good contract with the Oakland A's. Why? The A's already have a good outfield. Crisp always seemed better than his results. Maybe this is the year he breaks

Jason Bay hasn't signed yet. Is it the Fan or does it seem that most fans are hoping their own team doesn't sign him? The Fan thinks Bay is the Richie Sexson/Ron Kittle of this generation. The Cardinals, however, would be real disappointed if they can't get the Holliday deal done.

Oops. Got a customer. Talk to you soon.


Anthony K. said...

Vazquez pitched unsuccessfully for the Yankees?

It was his only season as an All Star.

Had he not gotten hurt, he never would have been traded.

Yankees fans won't be complaining when he puts up better numbers then "#2 & #3" AJ Burnett and Andy Pettite.

The Yankees got a steal.

Josh Borenstein said...

Vazquez is an NL pitcher. For the stuff he has, he has always underachieved. Great peripherals, but he should have had a much better career. I would have signed Jon Garland for the back end of the Yankees rotation rather than trade away those prospects. Garland and Vazquez would have both given the Yankees a 4.50 ERA and 200 innings. The difference is Vazquez is more of a power pitcher.

The Cubs got hosed. But you know how I feel about Jim Hendry. The man doesn't know value. I think he might have been able to trade Bradley for Zito. Both have big contracts. Both have two years remaining. Both have been disappointing. The Giants desperately need some outfielders with patience and pop. Bradley would have been a good fit. And at least the Cubs would have got something back with Zito. Silva will be lucky if he makes the roster. He definitely won't be a starter.