December 02, 2008
Leave it to Kenny Williams and the White Sox to get baseball news back on the front burner.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune and by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the White Sox are sending Javier Vazquez and reliever Boone Logan to the Braves in exchange for minor leaguers Tyler Flowers (C), Brent Lillibridge (SS) and possibly a minor league pitcher. (No one's quite sure on the exact combination, so hold the phone on those names.)
However, if that holds firm, this would appear to be a great trade for the Sox, who are shedding themselves of at least a good chunk of the $23 million owed to Vazquez over the next two seasons and picking up a good catcher prospect in Flowers.
Like the D'backs, Yankees and Expos before them, the Pale Hose could never get over the inconsistency that Vazquez brought to the mound. A powerful flamethrower one minute but a mental midget the next, Vazquez could never quite put it together to realize the potential that so many have seen.
At one point last season, manager Ozzie Guillen challenged Vazquez through the media by saying he wasn't a big-game pitcher. Vazquez never came close to proving him wrong — going 2-4 with a 6.25 ERA over the final month of a pennant race — which is why you won't see too many South Siders wringing their hands over his departure.
The fun now comes in projecting how this will affect other moves in the hot stove season. Are the Braves now officially done in the Jake Peavy player derby? Are the White Sox dumping salary to make a big play at next week's Winter Meetings — or is owner Jerry Reinsdorf going on the cheap in this time of economic uncertainty by dumping Vazquez, Nick Swisher and possibly, as rumored, Jermaine Dye? How will the Sox replace the 200+ innings that Vazquez pitched each of the last three seasons? Stay tuned, because this baseball newswheel may have finally, thankfully, started to turn.