With a Javier Vazquez trade supposedly close to complete, it’s been unusually hard to dig up information about the deal. Here’s the situation so far:
Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News addressed Vazquez today with just this blurb:
"Javier Vazquez, who has piqued the Mets’ interest, may be on the verge of getting shipped to the Windy City. A baseball insider suggested the White Sox are the most likely destination for the Diamondbacks pitcher, possibly leading to a trade involving Jon Garland (a free agent after the 2006 season) or Jose Contreras."
Ken Rosenthal is on the same page:
"The White Sox are making a ’strong, under the radar’ bid to trade for Diamondbacks right-hander Javier Vazquez, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. The package of players that the Diamondbacks would receive is not known, though it could include a major-league starting pitcher — perhaps right-hander Jon Garland or Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez — and an outfield prospect such as Chris Young."
The Mets have long been mentioned as another suitor for Vazquez, and the Nationals are a dark horse.
I hate to be a wet blanket, but it doesn’t look like Vazquez will end up with either major market club.
I spoke to Chicago Tribune White Sox beat writer Mark Gonzales for his take on the rumor:
"Don’t think it’s going to happen. They had a brief chat, and nothing is on the front burner as of late last week. Garland has become a bigger concern because of the free agent market."
The takeaway? The Sox probably won’t chase Vazquez, but they’re not going to pay Garland A.J. Burnett money after this season. Look for Garland to be dealt before the trading deadline, and possibly this winter.
How about the Mets? My source close to the team tells me that some in the front office are privately scared of how Vazquez fared in the Bronx. Omar likes him, but there is a split opinion. The club is in wait and see mode, so they won’t aggressively pursue Vazquez.
One thing’s for sure – the Diamondbacks are being tight-lipped about details of the Vazquez deal. I know that Jack Magruder of the East Valley Tribune, who is close to Josh Byrnes, still doesn’t know where the righty starter is headed. Perhaps an unexpected team will emerge with the best offer, like the Tigers for example.