Free Agent Stock Watch: Javier Vazquez

The Yankees acquired Javier Vazquez from the Braves last offseason to help solidify the back of their rotation, but he's proven to be of little help. It was the second time Vazquez was traded in as many offseasons, and the fifth time he was dealt in six years. Despite being in the show for 13 seasons now, he has never been a free agent, instead opting for security in the form of contract extensions. Let's look at Vazquez's stock as he prepares to hit the open market for the first time… 

The Good

  • Vazquez has a reputation as one of the game's best workhorses, logging at least 198 innings (under 200 IP just once) and 32 starts every year from 2000 to 2009. His strikeout-to-unintentional walk ratio is an amazing 2,001-488 during that time (8.3 K/9, 2.0 BB/9).
  • He projects as a Type-B free agent, so whatever team signs him would not have to surrender a draft pick to do so. Regardless, the Yanks are unlikely to offer him arbitration anyway. 

The Bad

  • At 34-years-old, Vazquez is no spring chicken and all of those innings might finally be catching up to him. His average fastball velocity has dipped to just 88.7 mph this year, down from 91.1 last year and 91.7 the year before. It's gotten worse as the season has gone on as well.
  • His performance this season ranks among the worst in his career. His 157.1 IP are his fewest since 1999, and his 5.32 ERA forced the Yankees to remove him from the rotation (and into long relief) earlier this month in favor of rookie starter Ivan Nova.
  • Javy is also extremely homer prone, allowing 32 this season and no fewer than 20 in any single season of his career.
  • Vazquez has always preferred to remain on the East Coast, close to his home and family in Puerto Rico, so West Coast clubs are likely out of luck.

The Verdict 

Vazquez seemed like a lock for a multi-year deal coming into the season, but it's hard to imagine him getting more than one guaranteed year right now. He'll likely have to settle for a one-year "prove yourself" kind of contract and hope he improves his stock next season. That said, if an offseason of rest helps him regain his old form, Vazquez could end up being a potential bargain on a short-term, low-money deal.

25 Responses to Free Agent Stock Watch: Javier Vazquez Leave a Reply

  1. MB923 5 years ago

    Hope he’s left off the playoff roster and hope he never throws another pitch for the Yankees again

  2. Arizona an option…? Top of the rotation guy.. Vazquez, Hudson, Kennedy, Saunders and another veteran. He can become a mentor to Hudson and Kennedy.

    • jdub220 5 years ago

      Considering that last time he was in Arizona he demanded a trade to get out of there, it’s doubtful.

    • The_Silver_Stacker 5 years ago

      he does not want to play on the west coast

  3. would love it if the pirates somehow signed him. dude’s MO is being dominant on non-competitive teams, and we could flip him at the deadline (life as a pirates fan…)

  4. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    come to st.louis please. he can be a cheaper alternative to re-signing westbrook. he would flourish in the NL especially in the NL central under Dave Duncan. and if it really is just a 1yr, 2-3million deal, it can be a real bargain and good insurance on Lohse sucking it up or Garcia having a setback.

  5. $1529282 5 years ago

    In spite of his terrible year, there’s probably not a fan in baseball who wouldn’t want him on their team… aside from Yankee fans of course.

    Hey Javy, if you’re HR happy, come pitch in Minnesota. Target Field allows fewer home runs than the damn Polo Grounds.

    • fisk72 5 years ago

      I think I can speak for most Sox fans and say we don’t want him back either.

  6. tacko 5 years ago

    Him with the Mets sounds like a match made in heaven. Notorious fly-ball/strikeout pitcher + Citi Field’s expansive outfield could amount to a comeback year for Vazquez. He’s already proven that he could dominate the NL as well as the NL East. With the Mets’ seemingly low budget this offseason and the deflation of Vazquez’ value, this is a huge possibility.

    • tdw815 5 years ago

      I agree with you. He could be a number 3 or 4 behind Santana & Pelf

  7. melonis_rex 5 years ago

    My prediction: he signs with the Nats.

  8. Smrtbusnisman04 5 years ago

    I would Love to see the Pirates take a risk on him! We really need an experienced player ,and proven ace, on our roster.

    Please keep in touch Bob, Frank, and Neil.

  9. As a Royals fan, I’d only want him him on a minor league deal or out a ML deal out of the bullpen. I know this won’t happen but that’s how I see Vazquez’s level after this disaster of a year.

  10. Seriously, what good is a “innings eater” type pitcher that thinks he is pitching in the Home Run Derby? The Verdict: Stick a fork in him, he’s done.

  11. The problem with Vazquez is lack of confidence,, you see Burnett more awful than him but nobody make a big issue of that. The yankees don’t trust him and he is not a good yankee pitcher period. He got a terrific season with the Braves last year. If he can regroup himself and gain confidence plus a good pitching coach and good environment you can see a great pitcher for at least 3 or 4 seasons. San Louis would be a good fit or even the Braves!

  12. $1529282 5 years ago

    It’d be just fine with every other team in baseball too… but there’s absolutely no chance in hell he signs for anything close to that.

    Vazquez will be on a one-year, $5M-$7M deal plus incentives at the least.

  13. Zack23 5 years ago

    Which team is giving him 5-7m? Losing 3-4 mph off your fastball is a huge red flag for shoulder issues

  14. melonis_rex 5 years ago

    Ben Sheets, Rich Harden, and Chien-Ming Wang got multi-million dollar deals this offseason, no way in h3ll Vazquez gets a minor league deal.

    Easily 5-7MM deal waiting for Vazquez.

  15. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    lol yeah because Sheets, harden, and wang all panned out. not exactly the best examples to be throwing around. in fact, because of said players, i think owners will be much more wary of signing guys to “high risk/high reward” deals.

  16. NickinIthaca 5 years ago

    I feel like all three of those guys were coming off of injuries that caused them to miss the majority of a season (or two in Wang’s case I believe). However all three of them had been dominant when healthy in the past (or at least Wang had a number of 19 win seasons).

    With Vazquez, I feel like you know what you’re getting, unless you’re the yankees – and could see a team, especially in the NL, giving him a 2 year 10-12 million dollar contract

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