Ramon Vazquez Could Be Traded Or Released

Infielder Ramon Vazquez is fighting to make the Pirates, reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Vazquez said he's been told he's not on the team right now, despite being guaranteed $2MM in 2010.  GM Neal Huntington admitted he has to consider a trade of some sort, having six players for four bench spots.

A release is the least-desirable approach for the Pirates, since they'd still owe Vazquez's $2MM salary (less $400K if he joins another big league club).  A trade makes more sense, with Kovacevic naming the Rangers and Orioles as possible matches.  Vazquez, 33, hit .230/.335/.279 in 239 plate appearances last year while playing second base, shortstop, and third base.  His poor performance may have been related to a knee injury.

Huntington's plan when signing Vazquez in December of '08 may have been to find a credible back-up middle infielder in case the team traded Freddy Sanchez and/or Jack Wilson.  But you have to question his $4MM commitment to Vazquez, a journeyman platoon player who still didn't hit lefties in his career year '08 season.