Javier Vazquez‘s 2010 return to the Bronx wasn’t just bad because his fastball lost all of its pop, it was also bad because the Yankees gave up a promising prospect in RHP Arodys Vizcaino to land him.
Vizcaino had a good fastball, a strong curve, and a very solid K/BB ratio (4.10 in four seasons in the minors). He ranked as high as No. 40 on Baseball America’s top prospect list. But now there is a bump in his developmental road as he will need to undergo Tommy John Surgery to repair his elbow and will miss at least a full year, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.
This is exactly the type of reason why teams are willing to risk dealing guys like him – they get hurt. Now TJS isn’t career threatening. He’ll be back next season and will probably be close to full strength by the All-Star break. But this is the nature of the way things work though. Pitching prospects, especially lowly level prospects like Vizcaino was when the Yankees dealt him, get hurt.
Now rather than the Braves getting six years of team control they will get just five and he’s almost certain to struggle with consistency next year as he gets over the surgery and deals with breaking into the big leagues. So the best the Braves can legitimately hope for is four solid years from him.
That doesn’t make the Yankees trade for Vazquez a good one, but it does at least slightly soften the blow.