Vazquez goes from doghouse to Braves
Javier Vazquez has pitched himself out of another uniform, and so at 32 years old it appears he’ll pick up in Atlanta where he left off in places such as New York and Chicago, as a stuff guy who might never live up to his stuff.
Last we saw Vazquez, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was daring him to show up in a big game, just one, and Vazquez was responding by getting bombed in his last four starts, finally in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Rays.
The Braves take him because they are thin in the rotation and because general manager Frank Wren was unable to wrangle Jake Peavy out of San Diego. They take him because they are down John Smoltz, Tim Hudson and Tom Glavine. And they take him because they admire his durability and hope he’ll be better away from hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field and, of course, Guillen.
Wren still hopes to add another starter, particularly if Jo-Jo Reyes is among the players going to the White Sox. The Braves are among five or six teams bidding on A.J. Burnett. And Wren could still revive negotiations for Peavy. Vazquez, assuming he passes his physical, would fall into the Braves’ rotation somewhere behind Jair Jurrjens.
Details came into focus late Tuesday night – infielder Brent Lillibridge, top catching prospect Tyler Flowers, minor league third baseman Jon Gilmore and left-hander Santos Rodriguez are headed to Chicago. a major-league source confirmed that Vazquez would take a physical Wednesday in Atlanta. Lefty reliever Boone Logan also went to the Braves.
As much as anything, the White Sox will be free of Vazquez’s contract, which was to pay him $23 million over the next two seasons. This winter, rival GMs have reported the White Sox are shopping nearly every big salary on their roster. To that end, first baseman/outfielder Nick Swisher (another in Guillen’s doghouse) was dealt to the Yankees and Jermaine Dye is being shopped to, among others, the Reds. Teams also are being told the White Sox will take offers on first baseman Paul Konerko and DH Jim Thome.