Maybe it’s not how they drew it up, but Mark Bowman* of MLB.com reports that the Braves were getting very little interest in Vazquez outside of the Yankees as no one outside of his no-trade clause (i.e. the NL and AL West) was willing to pay $10M+ for a pitcher while giving up any talent in exchange. Sure, maybe the Braves could have eaten some salary, but if they were going to do that they would have done so with Lowe. Like it or not, the team has a budget.
So as it stands, Bowman reports, “the Braves were thrilled when the Yankees were interested enough in
Vazquez to highlight this five-player trade with the inclusion of
Arodys Vizcaino . . .”
I’ll admit that my biggest problem with handicapping deals is that I focus too much on whether the players/money that comes back is useful for the receiving team and not enough on whether the deal is, you know, fair. Cabrera, Vizcaino and the cash are useful for the Braves. They’re not equal in value to Vazquez.
But at the same time, many people who focus on how uneven this or any other trade is often fail to acknowledge that this isn’t the stock market and there aren’t always optimal, equitable deals to be had. Sure, sometimes maybe you do no deal before doing a bad one, but it’s probably worth remembering that the business of trading and signing players is closer to an art than a science.
*Bowman notes in his post that he spent part of yesterday driving on “the twists and turns on West Virginia’s mountainous turnpike.” As a proud product of Exit 48 I envy him. There isn’t a better road to haul ass on east of the Mississippi than the stretch between Charleston and Beckley.