Official: Sox trade for Vazquez

Diamondbacks get: Orlando Hernandez (40 year old arm of dust), Luis Vizcaino (slider-hangin non-tender candidate), Chris Young (projectable AA OFer whose best comp is an underrated non-super star.)

White Sox get: Javier Vazquez (Gopherballin' pitcher with great stuff) and Cash ($5-8MM)

I'm not going to provide a ton of analysis here. I'll just say that it appears Kenny is not done yet. Garland and Contreras have apparently both been offered similar 3-year deals. Garland, rightfully so, rejected his outright, and negotiations broke off. Contreras is in a much different position and I suspect will sign soon. It appears that one of these two will be traded to solidify the bullpen and upgrade somewhere else.

Last week, Studes wrote an article on FIP and the longball. In it he pointed out that Vazquez was one of the unluckiest pitchers in baseball, closing with the quote,

Most of these guys will do better next year, particularly the ones at the top of the list. So who's going to pick up Javier Vazquez?
I didn't even seem like a possibility at the time that the answer to that question would be us.

As pointed out by Studes and Tybor in the comments, Vazquez is a good candidate to have rebound to his former greatness. Vazquez' ZiPS bear some of this out. I added the other 5 Sox starters just for context.

Player W L G GS IP H ER HR BB SO ERA ------------------------------------------------------------- Vazquez 12 13 33 33 213 208 101 32 54 195 4.27 Buehrle* 15 10 34 34 236 239 100 23 48 149 3.81 Garcia 13 10 32 32 213 202 93 24 62 162 3.93 Garland 14 12 33 33 208 206 97 26 60 116 4.20 McCarthy 10 10 30 28 180 175 87 32 43 169 4.35 Contreras 10 11 31 30 176 162 87 23 76 139 4.45
ZiPS is park adjusted, and it's worth noting that according to Baseball-Reference league average for pitchers who throw half their innings at USCF the last two years is 4.92 and 4.45.

The real beauty of the move, however, comes from a financial perspective. El Duque's base salary in '06 is about $4.6M, and Vizcaino is due to make about $2M. With the D'backs cash subtracted from his contract, Vazquez looks to be due $7.5 in salary from the Sox in '06. In other words, this deal adds about $1M to the Sox '06 payroll. -- It also locks the Sox into 4 starting pitchers for '07, and Vazquez will not be a free agent until after the '08 season.

Kenny is all but saying he's never going to pay top dollar for free agent pitching. His modus operandi appears to be locking up starting pitching through the trade market. -- Who are we to argue with his results?

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