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Where's Javier Vazquez Headed?

Ken Rosenthal had an informative article yesterday about starting pitchers likely to be traded.  It's not loaded with new information, but it's a handy summary.  One bit of new info (at least for me) was a list of likely suitors for Javier Vazquez.  Rosenthal named the Braves, Cubs, Mets, and Indians as likely to be interested.  In the same sentence, Rosenthal mentioned that Vazquez's trade request was to join a team closer to his home in Puerto Rico.

Vazquez was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico.  I'm not sure if he still lives there, but it's a reasonable assumption.  If Vazquez's true main concern is to be as physically close to possible to Ponce, and Rosenthal's list of suitors is accurate, it would be helpful to know the distance from Ponce to each team's city.  That's why I compiled this handy chart.

Distance from Ponce, Puerto Rico (miles)
Atlanta 1548
New York 1632
Cleveland 1851
Chicago 2064
Phoenix 3000

You can see why he was getting a little homesick playing in Arizona.  If geography is any indicator, Atlanta is the frontrunner.  Maybe they would ship Kyle Davies and change over to the D'Backs.

Ah, but what if Vazquez simply wants to be near large numbers of Puerto Ricans?  New York blows other U.S. cities out of the water, of course.

How about Puerto Ricans as a percent of the total city population?  Not a big surprise:

% of Total Population
New York, NY   9.0
Chicago, IL   1.8
Cleveland, OH   1.6
Atlanta, GA   0.5
Arizona   0.4

Though Atlanta is a little closer to Puerto Rico, the Vazquez should feel right at home with the Mets.  Indeed, such a trade is on the table.

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As far as the Cubs are concerned, its really hard to tell what they are going to do with their starting pitching. They seem set with Prior, Maddux, Big Z, & Wood (assuming he will be ready to go). But, the big question is....it seemed as though when Rusch resigned for 2 years, 6 mil, he was told he would get every opportunity to be #5...especially with the signing of Eyre & Ohman already in the pen. Then you have Williams, Hill, & potentially Guzman in the waiting.
There was talk that they would pursue another starter, but where does the money fit? They locked alot of money into mid relief, hopefully will to get their SS & leadoff hitter, but that still leaves potentially 3 OF spots still under question.....
No way I would pay the $$ & years for Burnett, and Vasquez seems destined for the east coast.
I think the main question comes down to Wood. Dusty Baker was just on The Score, and the best point Mike North brought up was this: If Prior & Wood both make 30 starts, the Cubs will be right there....if they don't, or Maddux leads the team in wins again, then its 'next year' again.

Sorry for the ramble...just alot of questions still surround this team, the moves they need to make, and the $$ they have left to spend.

My feeling is that the money Hendry spent on role players is a positive sign. He wouldn't fill a pinch hitter spot but not do something about RF. He'll bring in two major OFs, no doubt. I think the extra starter is more of a luxury, and Hendry will make a deal if he likes one.

Everyone in Chicago thinks Furcal is coming here...guess we'll see.

A luxury or a necessity? The problem is, noone really knows how Wood is going to recover, as positive as they make it sound after every one of his injuries. And, can Prior pitch a full season? If one or either of these guys goes down early, then they might be in trouble.

It's kind of a roll of the dice...They know they have to get off to a good start (i.e. the Cardinals) or they'll be hurting again....So that puts alot of pressure on the status of Wood, and what Williams/Hill can do if someone goes down early.

I'm really getting tired of putting all my hopes on the arm of Kerry Wood.

Well, supposedly we'd be "stupid" to count on Wood this year. So I guess that indicates the Cubs have backup plans.

Had to delete a comment...let's not be dissing Puerto Rico here.

RM, who was the "stupid" comment from?

Okay, I remember that now....

I don't know why, but for some reason all the Zito talk really has me intruiged. I remember the big push they made on Hampton, and I really think Zito would be a huge addition.

Not saying they will, or if the A's would even trade him, but with his name out there, its kinda hard to ignore.

"You can never have too much pitching"

I think the White Sox, and their sometimes sub-par offense proved that quite nicely (as hard as it is to admit).

here's Mike North's interview with Dusty Baker earlier this morning...

http://www.670thescore.com/includes/news_items/1/580/dustybaker.mp3

Nothing special...just Mike North trying to be a tough guy with "tough" questions. pfft.

Why do the Cubbies need him? They don't need him or his salary. Consentrate on Furcal and getting OF help!! I think they should keep Patterson , trade for Abreu and Pierre. They are then set for their starters. The Cubs should then try and sign a little more bench help. Yes??

Cubs just traded their AAA closer Jeremy Van Buren to the Red Sox for a PTBNL.

sorry,
Jermaine Van Buren

The other thing to note is that because of how jetstreams work, NYC is a short flight to PR. And Shea is right next to LaGuardia.

Quick question:

Why does there appear to be a lot of Cubs info on this site? Is it because the Cubs are the most active this offseason, or because the inside "connections" are with them?


also, sidenote, i would assume "closer" to puerto rico would deal more with number and ease of flights there as opposed to actual distance. It doesn't do any good to be slightly closer in clevand if you have to go to chicago to get home.

Hey Bacon. The answer to the first question would be, both. I work in Chicago and am a Cubs fan, so I have more contacts near the Cubs than any other team.

Er, good point on the flights. Another point in NY's favor.

"They are a very festive people"

Wfan NY annoncent a trade in the works between Kris Benson and Balt. RP Lugo

Fans were callin in extremely upset
i would be 2

also manny for abreu straight up...

Elaine, that comment was blogworthy. Spongeworthy too.

Can someone explain why Philly would do the Manny for Abreu straight up? What purpose does it serve them?

RAMON!!! . . . let Javier Vazquez go home.

What does it matter how far away he is from home. Either way he's going to have to travel(probably first class right?) to get home. I think there is/was something bigger going on within the organization/team that he did not like.

the kid choked with the Yankees, so I find it hard to believe he would want to goto the Mets.....

even if Javier Vaszuez would be willing to join the Cubs, as of now it would not be a good idea to sign him. As you guys have already said we have other issues to address first (CF, RF, and SS.) With Jerome Williams backing up Wood (a guy who stepped it up big time at the end of the season), and a decent pitcher in Rich Hill following him up, we have more important issues than starting pitching. Another thing is Vasquez is getting paid 11.5 million in 2006 (Yanks are paying 3 mil., which would give them another reason to sign him. I mean instead of letting their money go to waste, why not sign him.). When you subtract the possible contracts of more essential players, like Raffy, Juan, and/or, Milton, we may be cutting are budget thin to get a player with a career record under .500. Despite what the rumors might say, the CUbs should and probably will not get Javier.

sorry, when i saw New York wanted to sign him i mistook it for the Yanks in my previous comment

The Cubs could use one more really good pitcher in there lineup. They have over 100 million dollars to spend. I do not want Rush Starting. Javier Vaszuez would be a really good update to the Cubs. Then we will be almost untouchable the pitching area. I really want Furcal and I hope they get him. Plus the phillies want Carlos Zambrano for Bobby and carlos is amazing!! They will not trade him. I would like Bobby to join our team but the Phillies are asking to much for him. Plus Rich Hill Blows really bad. He did nothing for us last year besides letting the other team score more Runs.

soooooo, why didnt we keep Clement and then we wouldnt have to worry about pitching

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