Braves Land Vazquez From White Sox UPDATE
Just wanted to update with the actual, confirmed prospects that the White Sox received in return for Javier Vazquez. Brent Lillibridge and Tyler Flores were, in fact, the two main prospects involved, but Chicago got two other prospects as well: Jon Gilmore and Santos Rodriguez. MLB.com's Mark Bowman confirmed the names in this blog post.
Gilmore is a 20-year-old third baseman and Rodriguez is a 20-year-old lefthanded pitcher. I don't know anything about Gilmore, but I have heard that Rodriguez has gathered some buzz with his size and velocity. He's 6-foot-5 and doesn't pitch to contact which, combined with above average velocity and his youth, combine to show flashes of just what he could accomplish with the White Sox. Power reliever anyone?
OK, we now return you to your previously scheduled Baseball Insider content. Enjoy.
The Braves entered the offseason perfectly straightforward about their need to acquire another starting pitcher. Well, they got one.
In a trade that has yet to be formally announced, the White Sox are prepared to send Javier Vazquez to the Braves from three prospects: young
starter (thanks jca ... wrote this the first time when pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes was being mentioned as a part of the deal, since then he's been pulled back out of it and I missed the "pitcher" I had before his name) infielder Brent Lillibridge and another starting pitching prospect as well as a positional prospect to be named. There is talk that the positional prospect may be Atlanta's highly regarded catcher prospect Tyler Flowers who, somewhat ironically, is playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League right now. At least that'll get him comfortable with the name on the jerseys. Chicago will send lefty pitcher Boone Logan to Atlanta, as well, to help even out the deal.
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal was the first to announce the trade was close this afternoon, with ESPN's Peter Gammons getting in on the action shortly thereafter. Gammons is reporting that Vazquez is flying to Atlanta tonight for a physical, which would complete the deal as early as tomorrow.
It's an interesting trade for a variety of reasons, which I'll explain after the jump ...
Hey! Thanks for coming along for the jump! Sorry, always wanted to do that. Now, here's why this trade really is significant, for both teams.
1) It accomplishes one of Chicago's main winter goals, which was to offload the salary of either Vazquez or Jose Contreras. There will be less pressure to push Contreras out of the door with Vazquez gone, though that certainly won't stop White Sox GM Kenny Williams from trying.
2) It adds one of the two starting pitchers Atlanta wanted to get in the offseason. The Braves openly coveted Jake Peavy and were the first team in hot and heavy in trade talks with San Diego. Those cooled, they said they moved on and, well, it turns out they have.
3) There were rumors that the Braves were still lingering around the Peavy talks, waiting for the Cubs' bid to collapse, when they would swoop in with a package of pitchers Jo-Jo Reyes, Lillibridge and a couple other prospects to try and snatch Peavy. With Lillibridge gone, and likely one of their top fielding prospects, that looks to be just about impossible now. If the Cubs do eventually land Peavy, Cubs GM Jim Hendry may owe Williams a dinner. Maybe they can meet somewhere downtown. Hear there's some solid steakhouses thereabout (something tells me Williams won't go for a meal at Harry Caray's, and Hendry isn't going anywhere near the Billy Goat Tavern).
4) It creates massive payroll flexibility for the White Sox. Chicago already dumped a significant amount of cash earlier this offseason, and they're in trade talks with the Reds about Jermaine Dye, which would free up more cash and help Williams rid himself of one of the three big salaries in the middle of the team's order (Dye, Jim Thome and Paul Konerko). Not that Thome and Konerko are necessarily safe, but dropping Dye would Dye would take some of the heat off.
What are the White Sox going to do with all the savings from payroll? Your guess is as good as mine, though I've been skeptical that they're doing anything but saving money while trying to get younger from the beginning.
Just as significantly, is this a good trade for the Braves? Is Vazquez likely to mount a decent return for what the Braves will be paying him? And what they gave up to get him?
December 2, 2008; 7:20 PM ET
Categories: Braves , White Sox
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