Thursday, September 9, 2010

Looking for a Free Agent Ace

In his latest regular interview with, Mike Rizzo said this:
I certainly would like to get a guy to lead that rotation and be a front-of-the-rotation guy, via free agency or trades or that type of thing. Those, as you know, are few and far between. They're tough to get and often expensive to get. But I feel comfortable with the depth. I do think we need a leader of that rotation. That would be one of our needs in the offseason.
I took a quick glance at the free agents available for 2011, and Javier Vazquez jumped out at me. He's struggled again in New York this season, but he was one of the very best pitchers in baseball last year in Atlanta.

More interestingly, he's right on the cusp of slipping to Type B free agency. Keep an eye on the Elias Rankings updates on MLB Trade Rumors, and if Vazquez slips out of Type A free agency in the last couple weeks of the season, which is certainly possible, look for him to become a top target for a bounce-back year with the franchise that drafted him 16 years ago.


Harper said...

My concern with Javy is the age. He is 34. Eventually he's not going to bounce back. Plus the ATL year looks fluky - he hadn't been that good since 2003 (in fact he'd only bee good arguably one other time since then)

Steven said...

2009 was a career year, but he was really underrated in Chicago. He was a very solid pitcher for them.

Bonsai said...

I actually think Vazquez's age is a benefit for them in this case. I say if we give him a good solid incentive laden two-year contract he might bite if no one is offering a longer contract that's worth it.

The first year, you expect him to be the No. 1, pulling ace type nnumbers and dependability. If he can pull some NL numbers even close to what he did in ATL then that's good enough to put him at ace for 2011.

After that, you can expect a decline but you also have a choice of keeping him, Livan and/or Marquis as the "veteran presence(s)" for 2012 when some pitcher whose name I can't remember should be fully back and healthy.

Harper said...

meh - I expect more average numbers than anything else - he's done that for 5 of the last 7 years. It's exactly what the Nats were going for with Marquis, except Vazquez gives you the chance for something special where as Marquis topped out at slightly better than average.

Will said...

Brandon Webb.


Steve Shoup said...

I wouldn't mind Vasquez, but I have to agree with Will, I think this could end up being Brandon Webb. And honestly I wouldn't mind it on an incentive laden deal. Vasquez is nice, but unless he reverts to his ATL. form his impact won't be much different than Hernandez or a healthy Marquis. Webb I think has even better potential and is worth the risk.