In some what of a surprise move, Kenny Williams and the Sox made a deal for Diamondbacks starter Javier Vazquez last night. Arizona picked up El Duque, Louis Vizcaino, and Chris Young in the deal.
On the surface I don’t like the deal for a bunch of reasons:
- Now the Sox have six starting pitchers
- Young put up monster numbers in AA Birmingham last year and appears to be the real deal. While he’s still a year away, it looks like he might be a star.
- Vazquez is very overrated. He’s had some great years, but he isn’t better than say, Jon Garland.
- I’m sad to see El Duque go. He maybe gave us the moment of the 2005 playoffs when he shut the door on the Red Sox with the bases loaded and no outs. El Duque came in and in one of the most amazing performances I’ve seen. If the Red Sox score and go on to win Game Three, who knows what happens after that. It really was, at the time, the greatest moment of my baseball life. And playing on that theme, the Red Sox let Dave Roberts go last winter after his improbably stole base that led to them winning Game Four… and look at what they did last year?
- Another thing about El Duque is that according to all reports and reporters and teammates he had a huge impact on Contreras. Something to think about going into next year.
- While Vizcaino isn’t a huge loss, that’s now two arms that the Sox have lost from the bullpen. Even if a starter (McCarthy?) moves to the pen, they have to replace Vizcaino and Martre.
On the flip side…
- Can you ever have enough pitching? At this point the Sox have more pitching than Shawn Kemp has BabyMomma’s. Maybe they’re trying to get a pitching monopoly sort of like the Yankees going out and getting players who were good in 1998 for the 2006 season.
- The Sox have control of Vazquez through 2008 and considering that Garland’s deal is up after 2006 and both Buehrle and Garica are only signed though 2007, Williams is looking down the road a bit (the Sox have control over Contreras for a while, but he has that weird clause were he has to be signed by a certain date or he can’t pitch or something weird like that).
- They still have Owens, Anderson, and Sweeney in the system to play center.
- He won’t be pitching for say, the Red Sox or Indians next year.
In the end, this is a wait and see trade. It’s not a bad deal, but it’s not a good one either. If Vazquez pitches well for the Sox, then everything should be okay in the end. And Young could be the second coming of Jeremy Reed who hit almost .400 a few years back in AA and the Sox traded him to Seattle for Garcia. Reed has struggled a bit in the majors, all Garcia did was help the Sox win the World Series for the first time in 88 years last year. But I think Young will be a better player than Reed, his numbers in AA were pretty darn good. He can run, hit for power, and gets on base… all signs of a good baseball player. But…
The rumor is now that the Sox are going to go after Tejada and you have to figure the Sox would send at the very least Garland and Uribe for Tejada. And suddenly the White Sox don’t look good, they look like the clear team to beat in the majors. If that happens, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself. Seriously, I may just move back to Chicago and get on with my life on 35th Street. I shouldn’t think this way because I get the same feeling as when the Sox were steam rolling their way though the playoffs. Wow that was and is a great feeling.
Just wondering but can a black guy be compared to Larry Bird? I mean if you’re white and have a little size, can rebound, and can hit a shot you’re Larry Bird just like that. But say, could I have said, “Lamar Odom reminds me of Larry Bird if Larry Bird smoked a lot of pot” five years ago? I mean Odom had one of those inside, outside games, could bring the ball up, and rebound at that (and so I’m really clear, when I said five years ago I meant before Odom came to the NBA). I don’t know… it’s just sort of weird that we only see white players who can do a bit more than shoot or pass always being compared to Bird (see Morrison, Adam. Other previous examples: Van Horne, Keith and Szczerbiak, Wally). When there are probably more black guys who actually have more similar games to Bird.
Finally, VFLOAB was happy to see the Supreme Court will hear the dispute on redistricting in Texas. As we’ve said before here, gerrymandering is one of the greatest threats to our democracy here in America along with the corruption/lobbyists in DC and state capitals. If nothing else attention and focus will be brought to examining the redistricting/gerrymandering in every state and hopefully some successful conclusion can come from it.