This was brought up today (hat tip: VictorW) and has been brought up before, but the more I look at it the more we should probably consider encouraging the Atlanta Braves to acquire Javier Vazquez from the Chicago White Sox. One of the early rumored moves for the Sox this off-season was to let Orlando Cabrera walk, move Alexi Ramirez from second to short, and try and acquire a second baseman. I brought up about a month ago that we could dangle our second-sacker, Kelly Johnson, for a power bat like Jermaine Dye; but we could just as easily dangle him for a guy like Javier Vazquez.
Some may be scared off by the line that Vazquez put up last year:
|2008 - Javier Vazquez||12-16||33||33||1||0||0||0||208.1||214||113||108||25||61||200||4.67||1.32|
While the ERA is higher than normal, all the other stats are just about in line with his career numbers. While digging through his stats I came across his line at Turner Field:
5W, 4L, 11GS, 2SHO, 70.1IP, 3.45ERA, 59H, 8HR, 18BB, 60SO
Not too shabby. Compare those with Derek Lowe (3.54 ERA at the Ted), A.J. Burnett (5.08), and Jake Peavy (4.38, though it's only 2 games), and Vazquez certainly holds his own in this group (at least at the Ted). Couple this with his track record of throwing 200+ innings eight of the last nine years and still being a strikeout pitcher, and he doesn't seem like such a bad option -- in fact he seems like a very decent option.
The White Sox have already shown a desire to trade players this year by sending Nick Swisher to the Yankees. And the price for him wasn't too high, only a backup third baseman, low-upside bullpen arm, and another aging young arm stuck between double and triple-A. Ceratinly Kelly Johnson would be far and away better than anything the Sox got for Swisher, and the Braves would be able to use fewer pieces than it would take to get Jake Peavy.
Hopefully a move like this is on the Braves radar; not necessarily as an option for a number-one starter, but for that equally as valuable second arm in the rotation -- an arm that can throw a ton of innings.