Yankees to skip Javier Vazquez's next start

7 Comments

With the right-hander getting lit up because of a dead arm that has him looking more like a Triple-A journeyman than one of the game’s top strikeout pitchers, the Yankees are finally ready to do something about Javier Vazquez. He’ll have his turn skipped this week, and he’ll be available to work out of the pen beginning Wednesday.
Vazquez last pitched Saturday, when he gave up four runs over three innings in a no-decision against the Mariners. It was the third straight outing in which he failed to last five innings. He’s 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA and seven homers in 16 2/3 innings over four starts in August.
The Yankees will give 23-year-old Ivan Nova a chance to pitch in Vazquez’s place when he faces the White Sox on Sunday. Picked over Dustin Moseley then, Nova allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Jays on Monday. It was his first big-league start after two relief appearances back in May in which he combined to pitch three scoreless innings.
We’re still probably a couple of weeks away from figuring out whether Vazquez can be written off for the rest of the season. The arm fatigue clearly wasn’t going away while he was starting every five days. Maybe some time off will help. But unless he regains a few mph on his fastball, he’s not going to be a part of the Yankees’ postseason roster.

The Nationals expect Bryce Harper to test free agency

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.

While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?

Either way: big year ahead for Harper.