Extra Bases

Yankees counter the Lackey move

You knew this was coming. Once the Red Sox signed John Lackey, there was no way the Yankees would go into next season with a rotation of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and two question marks.

The trigger was pulled last night when the Yankees obtained right-hander Javy Vazquez from the Braves.

In return for Vazquez and reliever Boone Logan, the Yankees sent the Braves outfielder Melky Cabrera, minor league lefty reliever Mike Dunn and Single-A pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino along with $500,000 Brian Cashman found under the couch in his office.

Cabrera is a decent outfielder who the Yankees have spent the better part of the last three seasons trying to replace. Dunn is a 24-year-old converted position player with a big arm and control problems. Vizcaino is probably the key to the deal for the Braves. He’s a 19-year-old who struck out 52 in 42 innings last season and has much upside according to people within the Yankees organization.


Vazquez was 14-10, 4.91 for the Yankees in 2004 before being shipped to Arizona for Randy Johnson. He is 52-46, 4.52 while pitching in the American League. He’s 2-7, 4.23 against the Red Sox in his career and has a 4.26 ERA in six starts at Fenway Park.

Now the Yankees will probably pick either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain to be their No. 5 starter and put the other in the bullpen. They also need a left fielder. Mark DeRosa could make sense unless Johnny Damon decides to lower his expectations.

Remember after the World Series when the Yankees made their annual promise to stick by a budget? Adding Vazquez gives them 15 players under contract for roughly $195 million. So whatever that budget is, it’s north of $200 million again.


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