Arodys Vizcaino Rumors

Top Trade Chips: NL East

Let's continue our top trade chips series today with the NL East…

  • Braves: The Braves aren't going to move Tommy Hanson and/or Jason Heyward, and they already traded away their top piece of bait this winter when they sent Javier Vazquez to the Yankees. What Atlanta does have is cache of big time pitching prospects in 20-year-old Randall Delgado,19-year-old Julio Teheran, and 19-year-old Arodys Vizcaino that they could dip into if needed.
  • Marlins: Florida has been reduced to flipping players before they get expensive through arbitration, nevermind get close to free agency. Dan Uggla is the team's highest paid player and also one of its most productive, but he's perpetually on the block because he's owed $7.8MM this season and will make even more in 2011 through arbitration. The Marlins could trade him, put Chris Coghlan back at second (his natural position), and call up super-prospect Mike Stanton to fill the vacant outfield spot.
  • Mets: Even though Carlos Beltran's knee is problematic and Jeff Francoeur is a perennial non-tender candidate, the team's best piece of trade bait is 21-year-old outfielder Fernando Martinez. Lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano could be used as trade fodder, but if ownership decides to part ways with GM Omar Minaya, then they could be in for a full blown firesale. Everyone not named David Wright would be available.
  • Nationals: Forget Stephen Strasburg, it's obviously not happening. However, GM Mike Rizzo has a valuable piece in Josh Willingham, who is no stranger to the trade rumor circuit. He is under team control through 2011, and his production isn't far off from Bay's. Relievers Matt Capps and Brian Bruney could be dealt as well.
  • Phillies: Philadelphia unloaded most of their top prospects to acquire Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay in the last nine months, so the cupboard is pretty bare. They could shop hard-throwing and oft-injured reliever Scott Mathieson, but the doomsday scenario could find Jayson Werth on the block if the Phils don't think they can re-sign him after the season. Of course that's highly unlikely, he's only the second or third best player on the top team in the league.

Yankees Acquire Vazquez; Melky To Braves

The Yankees and Braves agreed to a trade that solidifies New York's rotation and gives Atlanta enough payroll flexibility to pursue a bat. The Yankees acquire Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan in exchange for Melky Cabrera, cash (according to ESPN.com) and prospects Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino. We first heard of the trade talks from Buster Olney, Joel Sherman confirmed that the Yanks were after Vazquez and Jon Heyman provided the details. Check out an in-depth chronology of the trade here.

The Yankees re-acquire one of the better, more durable strikeout pitchers in the game. Vazquez has pitched 198 innings or more every year of this decade and he's struck out at least 150 batters in every one of those seasons. You can make the argument that he was one of the best pitchers in the NL last season, whether you like advanced stats (6.6 WAR) or simple ones (2.87 ERA, 238 Ks).

The Yanks also obtain Logan, a 25-year-old lefty who has been hittable so far in his major league career, and the chance for compensation picks after 2010. If Vazquez becomes a Type A free agent (he would have been one this year) and turns down the team's offer of arbitration to sign elsewhere, the Yankees would get two top picks.

As Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says, the Braves obtain a decent outfielder who's getting paid less than what he's worth and a prospect with significant upside (Vizcaino), all while saving $8MM or more (I'm guessing Melky makes $2.5-3MM next season). The Braves dealt from strength and the pitchers they obtained have lots of potential, if you ask MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.