Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vazquez signs with Marlins

Cross Javier Vazquez off the list of possible additions to the Nationals' rotation. The veteran right-hander came to terms today on a one-year deal with the Marlins, according to multiple reports out of Miami.

Vazquez is coming off a down year with the Yankees in which he went 10-10 with a 5.32 ERA over 157 innings. The 34-year-old, though, owns a career 152-149 record, a 4.26 ERA, nine seasons of at least 200 innings and five seasons of at least 200 strikeouts.

The former Expos ace has been a more successful pitcher in the National League (4.02 ERA in eight seasons) than the American League (4.65 ERA in five seasons) and as recently as 2009 went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA and 238 strikeouts for the Braves.

Vazquez's deal is believed to be worth $6 million to $7 million. The Nationals made him an offer (terms unknown) in the last two weeks. Other potential free agent targets still include Cliff Lee, Jorge De La Rosa, Brandon Webb, Carl Pavano and Kevin Millwood.


Doc said...

Glad to hear that Vazquez signed with the Fish. He would have been just another of Rizzo's non-ending list of 'has-been' signings!

Can't wait 'til we play the Fish and get a chance knock Vazquez around a bit!

Farid Rushdi said...

I agree. From 2004-2008, Vazquez averaged 13-12, 4.50 while Livan Hernandez during that same time went 13-12, 4.57.

Last season, both won 10 games (one for a division champion, the other for a last-place team). Livan's ERA was 3.66 while Vazquez came in at 5.32.

Livan is signed for a nominal major-league contract for 2011 while Vazquez will get $6-7 million plus incentives.

Someone smart like Mark will need to explain the theory behind offering Vazquez a contract because I sure don't see it ....

Mark Zuckerman said...

Vazquez averages 195 strikeouts per season. Livo averages 140. That's the main difference. Not saying I believe Vazquez is worth six or seven times as much as Livo is, but that's probably the rationale.

I think this speaks more to how undervalued Livo has been for several years now. Teams for some reason gave up on him a while back. Vazquez actually has better numbers than Jason Marquis, who is a couple of years younger but still probably didn't deserve two years and $15 million when Vazquez only gets one and $6-7 million.

Doc said...

Vazquez's KO rate is dropping, as is his fastball. Reportedly, he has said that he needs to develop a new pitch.

In the words of Greg Maddox, the KO is a "highly over-rated stat".

Livo, one of my all-time favorites, will be still be pitching when Vazquez is tending his gardens in Puerto Rico.


Will said...

Farid, you conveniently left out any mention of 2009, where Vazquez was a serious Cy Young candidate.
Besides that, even if Vazquez turned out to be comparable to Livan last year, then we'd be in great shape. However, the comparisons to Livan are misleading, because Vazquez wouldn't be taking Livan's role. You could similarly argue that we shouldn't sign Albert Pujols for $20m/year, because Ryan Zimmerman has put up comparable numbers over the past two years, while only being paid $11m/year. But that wouldn't make sense either.
Rather, you should be comparing Vazques to our the 4th or 5th starters, which was inhabited by stellar pitchers like Atilano, Olsen and Stammen. Together, these guys were comparable to Vazquez in his worst season. At his best, Vazquez is one of the best starters in baseball, and incredibly durable. Since 2006, Vazquez has been worth 21.1 WAR. Over the past 3 seasons (including his -0.2 WAR from last year), he was still the 20th best pitcher- tied with other aces like Cain, Oswalt and Johan Santana.

Missing out on Vazquez is a big disappointment. He was largely the safest option of the "risky" starting pitching options out there, like Webb, Francis, Bedard and Chris Young. However, it seemed like he wasn't interested in the best deal, but the best location, which the Nats couldn't provide

Doc said...

Vazquez, to his cretit, has been durable. However, his 2010 campaign was probably the beginning of the demise of his career.

Stay tuned.....

Anonymous said...

Vazquez has many shortcomings but this may be the start of a "get nothing" off season for the Nats. All the remaining pitching options are at least as risky or are coming off significant injuries. Hopefully, next year's staff will not be this year's staff but that event is a bit more likely now. Consider a 2011 Webb to be a 2010 Wang.

And on the hitting front, I read a lot about Pena being courted all over. Given the Nats questionable pursuit of Dunn, I fear the same pitching and less hitting. This isn't a formula for increased fan interest.


Knoxville Nat said...

"...I read a lot about Pena being courted all over."

And the author of what you are reading, might that be Scott Boras?

JayB said...


Why are team like the Tigers and Fish making lots of significant moves and Nats are doing absolutely nothing?

Ladson is now trying to sell Web as a top notch FA arm......yet another major shoulder injury Nats signing......This is so old!

Someone tell me how this off season is going to be any different than years past? Lets sign the cheapest option....Adam Kennedy or Paul LoDuca anyone? Unbelievable what passes as a MLB team around here.

Anonymous said...

Vazquez's problem wasn't the AL, it was his arm. He is an aging pitcher who went from a 93 mph fastball to an 87-89mph fastball. That is a HUGE difference, and until he proves that he can pitch with a Livo fastball I don't want him on the Nationals (at least not for $6-7 million. Right now I project the Nats rotation to be Zimmermann, Marquis, Lannan, Livo and Maya. Vazquez might beat one of them out or he might not, and I'd rather save the money in this case and let the kids pitch (Zimmermann, Lannan, Maya), let Marquis pitch so he can prove he's worth flipping at the trade deadline, or let Livo pitch for $1 million.

John C.

Anonymous said...

@JayB: If they had signed Vazquez, I have this feeling that you would have bitched about another retread signing for too much money. I believe this is a Paul LoDuca for the Marlins (without the steroids): too much money for a has-been player. Unless/until Vazquez miraculously finds his fastball or learns to pitch a la Livo, I DO NOT WANT this guy on the Nats. I'd rather let the kids get the innings.

John C.

JayB said...

I never would bitch about the money....they have seven years of Season Ticket money from me....I would like to see them spend the profit this team earns every year from MLB revenue sharing and MASN contract and put a winner on the field for once. Web or Vazquez....I'll take Vazquez but it sure looks like we are going to get Wang 2.0 (Webb) instead.

NatBiscuit said...

I would have been happy if they signed Vazquez but his pitch speed was reportedly down last year.

It is still early in the off season. There are still 12 weeks until spring training. Some of the top free agents will likely still be unsigned on February 1.

It will be interesting to see if the winter meetings are more active this year than previous years. There has been talk about more teams looking to fill holes by trade this year as opposed to free agency. If so the real action has not started yet.

Mark Zuckerman said...

JayB said...
Why are team like the Tigers and Fish making lots of significant moves and Nats are doing absolutely nothing?

MLB teams that have signed free agents away from other teams so far this offseason: 3 (Det, Fla, AZ).

MLB teams that have not signed free agents away from other teams so far this offseason: 27 (Wash, Phi, NYM, Atl, ChC, Cin, Hou, Mil, Pit, Stl, Col, LAD, SD, SF, Bal, Bos, NYY, TB, Tor, ChW, Cle, KC, Min, LAA, Oak, Sea, Tex).

Apparently every one of those teams is "doing absolutely nothing."

Give it time, dude. The Hot Stove League has barely begun.

Tegwar said...

Unless the Nationals are saving their money to sign a better (higher priced) pitcher than it is a missed opportunity. Vasquez may not be the pitcher he used to be but he is not much more of a question mark than Marquis, Lannan, Livo or Maya and that is baring any injuries. I really doubt that the Nationals will make it through the season needing only six possible starters. Out of all the glaring wholes that this team has a dependable starter is the biggest. I can’t imagine that De La Rosa, or Pavano will come any cheaper or with the low risk of a one year contract.

JayB said...

Thanks Mark but as you know.....we have given them time....years worth of time and the same thing happens every year..AND it is not just FA but trades and resigning their own players See SFO and A Huff....Nats are long on doing nothing but signing the cheapest players in just in time for Spring Training....Forgive me for being very skeptical that anything different is going to come this year. our number one sure fire ace that Rizzo promised to go after....just too sad to face really.

JayB said...

Oh and Mark....LAD signed Garland over the least some teams are working.....

Suicide Squeeze said...

Please, Mark -- what was that? Facts? Stats? Research? I am disappointed you had to stoop to such levels to respond to JayB.


erocks33 said...

it's reported that Vazquez' deal is 1 yr/$7M with a FULL no-trade clause AND the Marlins can't offer him arbitration next offseason. If that's what it takes to sign him, then I'm glad the Nats didn't get him.

Wally said...

I am content to wait it out to see what happens, but I don't think JayB's concerns can be dismissed out of hand. I don't think that they intend to do nothing, but that exclusive focus on upper tier pitching, especially if they pass on admittedly-lesser pitchers that are otherwise upgrades, definitely runs the risk that the offseason music stops and we have no one.

At this point, I wish Rizzo would focus on the lineup. Even if Dunn comes back, they have several holes to fill. I am not sold on Espy yet, especially with the lingering effects of hamate surgery, and at least 2 OF spots should be addressed (IMO). That may be a more productive use of the
Is offseason.

Pilchard said...

Would like the Nats to have signed Vasquez and would love the Nats to sign Webb. Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay are not available. There is going to be risk in virtually any FA signing, but going into the 2009 season, Brandon Webb was among the top 5 pitchers in baseball, and he is only 31. If Rizzo and his staff believe that there is a reasonable likliehood that Webb can return to form, signing him would be a risk worth taking.

Anonymous8 said...

Garland and Vasquez signed for much smaller money as this is shaping up to be like the post-2008 Free Agent market.

Pavano may have to rethink his demands as prices are dropping.

Like Teixeira and Sabbathia after 2008, the top 3 should still do well (C. Lee, Crawford, Werth).

I am also glad the Nats didn't get Vasquez but I know his money is going to Webb as I knew that the day he was declared a Free Agent.

JayB said...

Webb had major shoulder surgery.....Like Wang and many others.....they just do not come back with any degree of certainty.....Webb was throwing 5 to 7 MPH off his best after two years of recovery...He will come cheap and that is what this is all about.

JayB said...

Mark is correct for the most part that most teams have not signed FA's but he is missing LAD and Garland. Point is DET, MIA, LAD, AZ are making real moves. SFO and others are signing their own FA....NATS ARE DOING NOTHING AT ALL

NatBiscuit said...

Panic if you want to, but the appropriate strategy is to target younger players by trade and fill the roster with free agents as needed based on those trades. For example, why sign a mediocre free agent pitcher if you can trade for a better one. If they have to give up Desmond to get a good pitcher, then you sign a middle infielder. If you give up Willingham and Burnett then you sign the appropriate replacements. But if you sign free agents before you know what the trade market will bring then you have less flexibility. Signing someone early as a demonstration of aggression is symbolic, but not necessarily the best move. Last year the Nationals were hailed as early and aggressive when the signed Rodriguez on December 7.

Doc said...

Moving into the future a bit, the Nats may have a genuine lead-off guy in Eury Perez. He's only 20 but he's burning up DR Winter League.

Perez has got absolutely no power, but he's hitting almost .400, and stealing a base about half the time he gets on.

Anonymous said...

If one had to guess you have to figure a trade is in the offing for the Nats. JayB you ought to give Rizzo some time. Not JayB time, real time. He did sign his draft picks and came up with a reasonable international signing did he not? So, far you have had to eat crow when it comes right down to it with your complaints about whether he is doing something. More crow for you to eat as opposed to Turkey seems to be what's in store this holiday season.

Sunderland said...

I really don't get the JayB bashing. He asks why some teams are active and our team is not. What in the world is wrong with that question?
And the notion that only 3 teams have been active is not accurate.

Royals trade David DeJesus to Oakland.
Oakland claims Edwin Encarnacion off waivers from Toronto.
Red Sox trade Dustin Richardson to Florida.
Florida trades Cameron Maybin to San Diego.
Red Sox claim Taylor Bucholz off waivers from Toronto.
Florida trades Dan Uggla to Atlanta.
San Fran re-signs FA Aubrey Huff.
Oakland trades Rajai Davis to Toronto.
Yankees trade Juan Miranda to Diamondbacks.
Rockies trade Clint Barmes to Astros.
Detroit signs FA Victor Martinez from Boston.
LAD signs FA John Garland from San Diego.
Florida signs FA Javier Vasquez from Yankees.
Twins win rights to negotiate with Japan's Nishioka.
Didgers re-sign FA Hiroki Kuroda.
Cardinals re-sign FA Jake Westbrook.
Detroit signs FA Joaquin Benoit from Tampa.
Detroit re-sign FA Jhonny Peralta.
Florida signs FA John Buck from Toronto.
Reds re-sign FA Ramon Hernandez.
Phillies re-sign FA Jose Contreras.

Many of those guys could have been improvements for the Nats, no?

So what in the world is wrong with asking why the Nats are sitting on their hands?

(Suicide Squeeze, your rant about "facts" is just childish, and, um, wrong).

JayB said...

Anderson Hernandez "burned" up the DR several times.....we know how that worked out.....not much you can tell about Winter League Stats, much like Sept call ups....Boy the Maxwell was great in Sept a few years back.

NatsJack in Florida said...

As I stated last week, it was between us and the Marlins and the Marlins won out with the FULL no trade clause. The location and the no trade clause were the important factors to Vasquez.

As for Eury Perez, he had trouble hitting in the Fall Instructional League and was erratic in CF. But he is only 20 years old and runs like a deer. Time is on his side.

Phil dunn said...

Free agents of any note, who have a choice, are not going to come here. Either the Nats will have to overpay by a significant margin or they will have to sign damaged good players like Brandon Webb. That said, I wouldn't be surprised to see Adam Dunn come crawling back because nobody else really wants him for more than the Nats offer & Carlos Pena seems to be in demand. Dunn had better make a move while the offer is still on the table.

Sec3MySofa said...

Speaking of free agents, anybody heard anything recently on that 17-year-old Cuban center fielder, Yasiel Balaguer, who defected in Nicaragua about a month ago? I can't find anything since the first news.

Stranded_in_Philly said...

Too bad. Vasquez would have added some nice depth, which is always useful. Signing back of the bull pen "innings eaters" is always nice, though never a sure thing (hello, Jason Marquis).

Not sure which of the free agents out there right now are worth a lot of money. Lee is not the right guy for this team... he will eat up a ton of budget on a team that just isn't close enough for him to make a difference. Same goes for Crawford. Webb would be a an interesting risk/reward guy, as long as we don't overspend, but the signing would look like Chien Ming Wang 2.0.

phjil dunn said...

JayB is absolutely right. Rizzo will be very busy filling holes by dumpster dipping just before spring training. The Lerner's cheapness and Rizzo's fraidy cat approach always rule. With Kasten out of the way now, the Lerners are in full control and I think everyone knows what that means. They will make Cliff Lee a big offer but Lee wouldn't come here if they offered him a billion dollars. Then, the Lerners will say: "See, we are willing to spend, it's not our fault." That's the strategy they used two years ago with Teixeira, knowing full well he would never come here at any price.

Steve M. said...

phjil dunn, I am hoping one day I will be pleasantly surprised by a top Free Agent grabbing a big Lerner offer.

I also didn't see the upside of a 5.00+ ERA guy coming here and spending that money when it won't make a big difference over who is already here.

This team has to get a Cliff Lee to make a real difference. I also agree that Webb is another Rizzo mancrush so now that Vasquez is out of the way Webb will be there for the taking.

The real results are going to come out of the Draft for this team. We just need to see some tangible results. These mid-level Free Agent signings have not worked out for this team unless there is someone I am forgetting. Dunn was their largest Free Agent expenditure and it shows when you spend the money you get better results.

Tegwar said...


I agree with everything you say except for Crawford. Crawford is still young (turns 29 in June) and he would instantly be the team’s best outfielder and lead-off man. I know he may cost as much as 80 million for 4 years or maybe more but the risk that he is a bust is small. He would instantly change the completion of the team. You could move Morgan to 8th or 9th in the order and with Espinosa and Desmond in the line up the team could beat you playing small ball or if they resign Dunn and keep Willingham with Zimmerman beat you with the long ball also. I understand the tie up in capital but rarely does an opportunity like this present itself. Crawford’s career numbers are very close to Roberto Clemente and I don’t think the comparison is a big overstatement.

Now I seriously doubt that Mr. Crawford wants to play for the Nationals but if I were Rizzo I’d try real hard to get him.

Anonymous said...


As Jayson Werth put it: its still early

Just like JayB you're going to have to wait. They aren't going to spend money just to spend money like the Cubs and to a large extent, the Yankees. The Nationals do not have the Boston or Texas farm system.
They are still only middle of the pack and that is only because of top draft pick Harper and Derrick Norris. Right? Sorry but Rizzo's watch is still early. He just got a promotion.

To show just how highly Nats talent is considered ask yourself why Adam Dunn isn't on your list?

As for JayB and dumpster diving. This GM, Mike Rizzo, seems awfully picky. Consider what happened to Dukes. I don't see Harris, Nieves, et al resigned. Even Trevor Holder looks a lot better than everyone here though.

Anonymous said...

correction:Even Trevor Holder looks a lot better than everyone here thought

Anonymous said...

Nice quote dug up by Huzzard over at Federal Baseball: for @Sunderland and @JayB:

There is always the chance that a minor leaguer surprises some people, but from the looks of the Nationals' minor league system it would be a surprise if a top of the rotation pitcher is developed in the next two years. --John Sickles at

The cupboard is still pretty bare guys. There isn't all that much you can do but wait while the system is rebuilt from JayB's circa 2004 dumpster. This will take Mike Rizzo some time to do. It does tend to solidify Frank Robby's reputation as a better than decent baseball manager who seemingly could make a purse from a sow's ear.

Slidell said...

Regarding free agent signings--- I wonder how much effect the 2011 absence of Strasburg (and possibly Dunn) has on whether folks do or don't want to consider DC?

Anonymous said...

Sickel's current "take" and back of the envelope analysis of the current crop of prospects and the Nats system:

I fully buy into Bryce Harper, and I don't know what else to say about him really. If he keeps his head on straight and avoids injuries, he's going to be excellent.

Beyond him, there isn't a huge amount of upside, beyond the exceptions of projectable high school arms A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray. Norris and Espinosa look like strong productive regulars though they won't win batting titles. There are several guys who could be good utility infielders, some who should be useful mid-to-back-end rotation guys, several potential bullpen options and role players.

It isn't a bad system by any means, but an awful lot rides on the shoulders of Bryce Harper.

This is why the trigger wasn't pulled on a Justin Upton trade. And I think we can be fairly certain Rizzo and company tried.

Anonymous said...

Its more than money that gets free agents to sign. Vasquez wanted to be near Puerto Rico as possible. So unless the franchise is relocated, there was nothing Mike Rizzo could do. Criticizing him for Vasquez is ridiculous.

Who are the names that everyone is dying for Rizzo to get? Cliff Lee? who else?

Sunderland said...

Anon 11:29, you completely misunderstand.
Just wondering why the JayB bashing for a simple, reasonable question?
And wondering why people accept the notion that it's only 3 teams that have been active.

"They are still only middle of the pack..."
The farm system? You give them too much credit. There's still almost no one in Syracuse that's a real MLB prospect. We're still well below middle of the pack, even with an excellent 2010 draft.

"To show just how highly Nats talent is considered ask yourself why Adam Dunn isn't on your list?"
So as of now unsigned free agents are not highly thought of? Seriously? Is that your point? Crawford, Lee, Rivera.

Rizzo's watch is not that early.

Trevor Holder:
1 - If they really wanted him, they could have had him a round or three later.
2 - As a 23 year old, he pitched to a 4.09 ERA in high A ball. Don't hold your breath waiting for him to earn a spot in the 2013 rotation as a 26 year old rookie.

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