The Jason Heyward trade makes sense for the Braves if they don’t feel like they could sign him long term. It makes far less sense if it was realistic for them to extend him. So, of course, we have some dueling quotes about that in the aftermath. First from Jason Heyward, talking about his mindset following his last go-around in arbitration:
“I wanted our next conversation to be about me possibly being in Atlanta for a long time. And that conversation never came about. So I took it as, that’s not what they wanted to happen.”
Here’s John Hart:
“He wanted a two-year deal and wasn’t interested in a long-term extension unless the dollars were maybe beyond where the club certainly wanted to go. We had a strong feeling he was going to go on the market. That’s what he wanted to do. We wanted to protect ourselves and position ourselves better.”
This is probably each side talking past each other. I think Heyward is right that, if the Braves wanted to do a long term deal, it was incumbent upon them to approach him, and he said they hadn’t. At the same time, the Braves front office didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, and after doing multiple long-term deals with young players like Freddie Freeman, if they had any sense that Heyward would be willing to do something like that, they likely would’ve pressed the matter.
Doesn’t matter what anyone wants now, though. He gone.
Yesterday’s news about the arrest of Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez was pretty disturbing. Today’s update from Jeff Passan of ESPN is even worse.
Vázquez has been charged with solicitation of a child and providing obscene material to minors, and yesterday’s report said that he texted a 15-year-old girl that he would meet up with her after the season for sex. According to police, however, Vázquez had already met with a minor in an attempt to have sex. When she was 13:
Yesterday Vázquez’s attorney, Jay Reisinger, issued a statement saying “We are in the process of reviewing both the Pennsylvania and Florida charging documents, as well as the underlying facts of the matter. At this time, any comment would be premature.”
The Pennsylvania charges referenced involve an alleged statutory sexual assault of a victim who is at least 16 years old by a person who is at least 11 years older than the victim; unlawful contact with a minor; corruption of a minor by a defendant who is 18 years old or older; and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last night that the offenses allegedly occurred on Aug. 1, 2018.
Vázquez is still in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested, and is awaiting extradition to Florida. He was denied bail and was characterized by the arraigning judge as a flight risk. Likely because he is a native and citizen of a foreign country with substantial financial resources.
UPDATE: I had missed this previously, but the Pirates issued a statement about all of this yesterday afternoon: