Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Counterpoint on the Vazquez Trade

Christina Kahrl from the Baseball Prospectus makes a good point about the lack of bounty that Frank Wren received for Javier Vazquez($):

The Braves didn't get to trade Vazquez for what he was in '09, any more than they can bank on what he was in '09 being what they'd get in 2010. Vazquez's recent swings from valuable to exasperating are a matter of record, with the recent peaks still separated by another one of his trenches, which doesn't help a proposition that selling high is going to yield maximum return. It's one year of a reliably unreliable starting pitcher, equally capable of greatness or making his manager a Maalox junkie. Not finding a rube willing to give you everything for Christmas because he thinks Vazquez is suddenly going to be reliable does not make you a badly run franchise, it instead reflects a smarter marketplace and a potentially more contrained range of possible actions.

I still dispute the notion that the best the Braves could do in trading away one of the best starters in the NL for a league-average outfielder and a prospect who is going to start the year in Low-A. That said, Kahrl is right that we can't expect Vazquez to turn in another season like his 2009 contribution. Sadly, there aren't as many easy marks in the GM ranks as there were when Michael Lewis put pen to paper to write Moneyball. (Insert Omar Minaya joke here.)


AuditDawg said...

Speaking of easy marks from Moneyball, I hear Steve Phillips has a whole other set of problems these days than just lopsided trades in favor of the other team.

JasonC said...

Whew! Everything is okay, we got a "probably" healthy Troy Glaus to save the day.