It started with bringing back Nick Johnson, who oddly enough was traded for Javier Vazquez along with Juan Rivera and Randy Choate, after the 2003 season. After just one year in the Bronx and a great first half which earned him an All Star spot, Vazquez was dealt after a poor 2nd half performance in 2004. Now part of the reason he was dealt was to acquire future Hall of fame pitcher, Randy Johnson. The 2004 Yankees lacked a true ace and that was a huge part as to why they were so quick to deal Vazquez after just one season.
The deal will send Yankee outfielder Melky Cabrera along with left handed pitcher Mike Dunn to the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees also aquire left hander Boone Logan in the deal. Vazquez easily had his best season of his career last year in Atlanta. He went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA and struck out 238 batters in 219 innings. Of his four seasons spent in the tougher American League (2004: Yankees, 2006-2008: White Sox) his best season came with the White Sox in 2007. He went 15-8 with a 3.74 ERA and struck out 213 batters in 216 innings. Vazquez is in the final year of a three year contract. He will be paid 11.5 million dollars this season.
The deal now brings speculation that there will be another move for the Yankees, this time for a left fielder. With the Johnny Damon contract talks at a stall, Melky Cabrera was slated to start in left. On the current roster Brett Gardner appears to be the option in left, but look for the Yankees to add a more proven player. They could re-visit talks with Damon, but they appear to be far apart when it comes to years and money. Jason Bay and Matt Holliday appear to be way out of the price range for the Bombers. One person to keep their eye on would be Mark DeRosa. He can play all infield positions and both corner outfield spots. Last year between St. Louis and Cleveland he hit .250 with 23 HRs and 78 runs knocked in. He is a local kid as well, he grew up in New Jersey and went to Bergen Catholic High School.