Sherman is often privy to Yankee-insider information and he claims that when the Yankees acquired Vazquez they did it with an eye on a pair of draft picks thanks to the pitchers impending Type-A free agent status (as a Type-A free agent the Yankees would get a pair of draft picks as compensation if the Yankees offered Vazquez arbitration and he signed somewhere else). Unfortunately for the Yankees things have not gone according to plan so far, Vazquez is in danger of falling to Type-B free agent status, and worse he is putting himself in a position where the Yankees aren’t even likely to risk offering arbitration.
Here’s more from Sherman:
However, it is looking more and more as if the Yanks could not even risk offering arbitration to Vazquez on the risk he would accept and earn in the $11 million range again for the Yanks in 2011.
There is still a long way to go for Vazquez to determine his status and for the Yanks to determine how they will proceed with him in the offseason. But the early signs are that Vazquez is not only hurting the Yanks in 2010, but beyond, as well.
Sherman finishes his piece by pointing out that there is still plenty of time for Vazquez to turn things around, but I disagree. I do think that there is time for Vazquez to turn his season around and figure out a way to get it done. Not only do I believe that, but I think it is likely. The problem is, I think it is too late Vazquez has already done enough damage to his reputation that nothing short of being a World Series hero could stop him now.
See the thing is, the scenario where the Yankees get draft picks out of this includes a the option of going to arbitration a less valuable one than hitting free agency. Vazquez makes $11.5 million this season, that means that through arbitration he cannot earn less than 85 percent of that, or $9.775 million. The chances of him earning that much through free agency, considering the hit he has taken to his reputation, aren’t very strong. So you would have to think that if offered arbitration he would accept it.
There is one other scenario where the Yankees could get picks for Vazquez. He would need to pitch well, well enough that it would be worth it for the Yankees to take a $9.775 million gamble on him and he would have to be sick of New York enough to want to leave. You might think that this might be likely for somebody who is regularly bashed in the newspapers and booed by fans, but remember that Vazquez has already gone through this before and wanted to come back. When he was traded away after 2003 he expressed regret that he was leaving and vowed that he would try hard to come back. Once they reacquired him this offseason he accepted the trade with open arms and seemed genuinely excited to be back. Remember, this scenario also involves him pitching better which would mean that it wouldn’t necessarily be this harsh for the remainder of the year.
If the Yankees were only willing to trade for Vazquez because they thought they might get a pair of draft picks out of the deal it appears that they made a mistake. Yes, it is possible that they can still get those compensation draft picks, but at this point it seems very unlikely.