From Joel Sherman at the New York Post:
Javier Vazquez has age on his side, but ponder this: Which starter during the Joe Torre Era has immediately become the target of fans, media and organizational doubt and recovered to make it work here? Jose Contreras, Hideki Irabu, Denny Neagle, Kenny Rogers and Jeff Weaver arrived in their primes and none survived the emotional quicksand that comes with failing quickly in pinstripes.
Neagle left as a free agent after half a season, but the Yanks diminished all the others’ trade value by holding them too long in blind hope of improvement. Maybe they shouldn’t be that stubborn with Vazquez and fill needs by dealing his three years at $34.5 million while he is still an asset.
An AL executive suggested two places: 1. Baltimore for a package built around the best lefty set-up man in the majors, B.J. Ryan (Orioles executive VP Jim Beattie was Expo GM from 1995-2001, when Vazquez was developed and emerged there). 2. Anaheim needs rotation help, has pursued Latin stars under new owner Arte Moreno and can offer Scott Shields’ durable, power bullpen arm and Darin Erstad’s team-oriented enthusiasm and defense at either first or center (should the Yanks not sign Carlos Beltran).
He has been good (10-5 with a 3.56 before the all-star break) and I believe it would be a mistake to give up on the guy right now. With older guys like Brown, Lieber, Mussina and El Duque in our rotation – Vazquez is worth more than his numbers. I don’t even know why we are talking about it at all.