The White Sox send Orlando Hernandez and Chris Young to Arizona for Javier Vazquez.
As a Sox fan I am not sure what this deal does unless it is the opening in 2-piece move. Jon Garland will be a free agent after this year, so I could see him being moved for more hitting, or sending Brandon McCarthy (the #1 pitching prospect in the organization, and from what he's shown in the majors possibly the second best prospect behind Felix Hernandez) somewhere. Sports radio here is reporting that this opens up the possibility of a Sox-Orioles deal of McCarthy and Juan Uribe for Miguel Tejada. That would seem unlikely, but if it happened I would poop a hammer.
I think fans of 29 other teams popped when Tejada had his peeps drop the word that he was unhappy with the O's lack of improvement (increased payroll). Someone pegged it when they said that this is just another free agent who went for the maximum dollars, then after getting the money started whining about wanting to be on a winner. (see: A-Rod)
(Aside: These people should be forced to switch agents to Drew Rosenhaus. Drew's unintentional comedy factor is at least four times greater than that of Scott Boras.)
But likely it's nothing more than a plea for Angelos to make a splash - not easy in that either this year was an anomaly, or teams have gotten much better at locking up core players before they reach the open market. The lack of big-ticket free agents has even helped the small markets in that there's competition for the salary dump casualties.
But looking at this from Baltimore's side, I can't believe that after the Sosa/Palmiero follies last year, they can trade their one bankable star for mere prospects.
Getting back to the deal at hand, I like the move as it seemed exposed in the playoffs that El Duque just can't hold runners on, and that was getting exploited. Although I see on espn.com that serviceable reliever Luis Vizcaino also went to the D-Backs here. Guessing, I think that leaves the Sox with McCarthy starting '06 in the bullpen, and Kenny Williams has a nice insurance policy against a starter going down - and a nice chip to trade midseason to fill whatever need pops up. (Or McCarthy just prepares to take Garland's spot in '07 as the Sox let him walk.)
Podsednik LF Uribe SS Dye RF Konerko 1B Thome DH Iguchi 2B Pierzinski C Crede 3B Rookie CF TBA
I would much prefer to deal Garland now, coming off the 18 win season, and a year away from FA. I feel like Contreras will likely re-up with the Sox, so we would have all of our starters locked up for at least 2 more years. And the value of having BMac in the bullpen is far less than what he could bring as the #5 starter for this team. Which is why this deal makes me salivate, as you would be looking at:
Podsednik - LF Tejada - SS Thome - DH Konerko - 1B Dye - RF Iguchi - 2B Pierzynski - C Crede - 3B Brian Anderson - CF
I am sure we can pick up an arm here or there, as our top four spots are filled at that point in the pen. The pitching is about as good as last year (McCarthy can be much more effective than Hernandez was), and the offense is tremendously more imposing.
After the 6th inning of game 3, I'm glad to see El Duque out of the American League. If Vazquez can retain his National League form in the American League, the White Sox should have a deeper rotation, and if Jenks develops, a more reliable closer, than last season. If Vazquez's 2004 A.L. form reappears, the White Sox better not ship off any of their other starters. So, 2 members of the White Sox rotation will have parts of their salaries paid by the Yankees this season.
Any complaints about the preceding post can be directed at the time traveling aliens who edited it.
To nitpick, the Yankees aren't paying Vazquez salary. They paid Zona ~$3 mil per year to take him and Arizona pocketed the money. Arizona will be sending over some of that money to Chicago to cover Vazquez and because they really like the rookie outfielder C.Young. Vazquez is due to collect $12mil per for the 2 years left on his deal.
I don't like the Vazquez trade-demand with the popular "I want to be closer to my family" line of BS.
A no-hitter against the defending NL champs? I'd say it's about time for a change of guard in the NL East. Half-assed predictions aside, it was nice to see him seal the deal and get the spotlight for once, after being behind Maddux/Glavine.