White Sox Give Javier Vazquez Tomahawk Chop

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By Soxman

The sweeping changes GM Kenny Williams promised this off-season continue as it appears his biggest bargaining chip is now on his way to the Atlanta Braves.  Pending physicals, starting pitcher Javier Vazquez and lefty Boone Logan are going to the Braves in exchange for four of their top prospects.

Vazquez lost the confidence of Ozzie Guillen at the end of last season. He is one of the better strikeout pitchers in the game, but posted a less-than-spectacular 4.67 ERA and a 12-16 record for the White Sox.  After his complete meltdown in game one of the 2008 ALDS, he was booed loudly when introduced at the Cell before game three.  I’m sure few Sox fans will cry over this deal.

Still, as it becomes more obvious that the Sox were completely robbed on the Nick Swisher trade, I stated in October the Sox would be foolish not to get some bounty in return for Javy.  The bottom line is- he’s owed $23 million over two seasons.  $11.5 million for a starting pitcher who has a career ERA of 4.23, has topped 200 innings pitched every year but one since 2000 (in 2004 he had 198 IP for the Yankees), and averages almost 8 Ks per nine innings pitched is a bargain.

Boone Logan posted a 5.95 ERA in 55 appearances in 2008.  He was another pitcher who failed miserably during September.  He posted an 18.00 ERA and allowed opponents a .583 on-base percentage during that month. Kenny Williams likely played up Logan’s upside including his 1.95 ERA over the first month and a half of 2008.

While the trade will become official after physicals are completed, it appears as though Williams MIGHT have gotten this one right, in addition to freeing millions of dollars in payroll.

The Sox could get as many as four of the Braves top prospects back in the trade.  Evidently, the Braves have submitted a list of five prospects in which the White Sox can select four.  Here are the players rumored to be coming in return.

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Brent Lillibridge (Shortstop)

Lillibridge is ranked by Baseball America as the best prospect in Atlanta’s system, despite his horrible season at Triple A (.220 with a .294 on-base percentage).  He brings above average speed to the table and some power potential.  At age 25, it is his time to take the next step.

Tyler Flowers (catcher)

This is the player to watch closely in the trade.  I’ve followed him for two years.  He’s hitting .387 with 12 homers in Arizona Fall League.

At Class A Myrtle Beach this past season, Flowers hit .288 with 17 homers and a .498 slugging percentage. Most scouts believe that Flowers could blossom at first base or designated hitter.  He’s a stud prospect.

Jon Gilmore (third base)

A raw prospect, Gilmore is ranked along with Flowers as one of the top power hitting prospects in the Braves organization, but is likely 2-3 years away from the majors.  Taken directly out of high school in June 2007 with the 33rd overall selection, the highest slot ever for an Iowa high school player, he was highly touted as the heir to Chipper Jones at the hot corner.

Santos Rodriguez (LHP)

Named a Baseball America All-star in 2008.  Posted a 1-2 record, with a 2.79 ERA for the Braves Rookie League.  Struck out 45 hitters in 29 innings, holding opponents to a .155 BA.

This is the type of return we SHOULD have seen for Nick Swisher.

Going into the 2009 season, the Sox starting rotation is projected as the following:

Mark Buehrle
Gavin Floyd
John Danks
Clayton Richard
Aaron Poreda\Lance Broadway

If you think the Sox are done making moves, think again.  Williams is still actively shopping Jermaine Dye; whose value will no doubt increase to teams in need of a power hitter.

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I said not to judge the Nick Swisher trade until we observe possible free agent signings that result from it.  Thus far, here is my off-season report card for the White Sox:

Nick Swisher trade: F

Cutting salary just isn’t enough and without a doubt Williams sold low on Swisher by also giving up the best relief prospect in our system in the process for two mid-range prospects at best.  He can raise his grade to passing by doing something with the savings.

Javier Vasquez trade: A (pending final names involved)

A pitcher who had to be traded and a lefty who did not fit into the Sox plans yields two of the top 20 prospects overall in the Braves system and two of their best low level minor league prospects.

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No risk with a high upside.

Estimated salary saved by trading Vasquez and Swisher and letting Cabrera, Crede, Hall and Uribe walk:  $35.2 Million (Betemit added $1.165 Million)!!!

This will be offset somewhat by raises due to other players in 2009, but significant payroll has been trimmed.  The question now remains, what will be done with it?

Stay tuned until the next exciting “webisode,” same Sox time, same sox site.

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Comments

  1. Soxman, I was begining to think you were dead. You care about this site more than myspace. Don’t forget your roots!

  2. As a side note…why on earth is Sarah Spain now in the Red Eye and not you? She left the sportsbank correct? We need to see more of you.

  3. Why so serious? The Twins will rise again above the beloved White Sox. Only Soxman stands in the way of your GM completely destroying their team. Heee Heeee Haaaaaa

  4. I have to agree with Amy Lee. If Sarah Spain wasn’t good enough for the Sportsbank WTF is she back in the Red Eye? Oh yeah…Cub fan. Soxman you should return to myspace. You have said many times how that helped launch you.

  5. Javy had to go but I think Swisher COMPLETELY dropped the ball on the Swisher trade. He saves $30+ million and raises season ticket prices while buying nothing???

    If he trades Jenks and Dye I’m done with this team.

  6. I say that we make Soxman the new GM. Anyone got my back?

  7. Holla! Soxman for GM. Spain not cutting it on the Sportsbank and going to the Red Eye is like going from the majors to AAA. We love ya Soxman.

  8. I’m glad to see Kenny got one right. What would our opening day line-up look like soxman? If they traded Dye? Who would close if Jenks gets traded?

  9. Chris, I support the idea to make Soxman the new GM! fo scho.

    Erica, thank u so much for saying TSB is the majors and Red Eye is AAA, you’re so sweet! you rock.

    to answer the questions regarding Sarah Spain’s absence from the Sports Bank…next question.

    regarding SM in the Red Eye? please email redeyesports@tribune.com and demand more Soxman!

  10. Myspace can be rather limiting in what you can do there and the types of people you can reach with it. It’s a great starting pt, but you guys are well aware of how huge Soxman’s star power is.

    Joker, love your comment posts, even though I obviously don’t agree with the content!

  11. Sox gal holla says

    I love soxman!

  12. Sox gal holla says

    Have to agree though, regardless of how limited myspace is, Soxman started there and has something like 4000+ fans on that sight. He should try to remember is loyal fans on that place. This site is cool, but it’s all about remembering who made you.

    You should read into that as well Redeye!!!!!

  13. Sox it 2 Me says

    No offense but who really cares about Sarah Spain, aside from the fact that Soxman should be in the Red Eye over her or anyone else for that matter…LOL.

    She’s moved on to kicking sox fans in the balls for ratings…its not worth typing about.

  14. Soxtober Kid says

    Soxman, how soon do you think these guys will be in the majors? Read this morning the Sox are raising ticket prices by $1-$2 a ticket and cutting patroll by $35 million? So what ARE THE FANS GETTING? Screwed!!!! At least we still have you as a symbol of someone who is not corrupted by fame and fortune..

  15. Anyone who thinks that the great Brian Anderson is a suitable replacement for Jermaine Dye needs to get their head checked.

    Is that a more “aggressive” player? At the clubs maybe, or at the plate as he Ks reflect it.

    Sorry Kenny, we’re not drinking the Kool Aide.

  16. Ko’d Konerko says

    Have to agree with Meg! We needed to rebuild the farm system but we gave Swisher away and did nothing else to improve the sox for this year.

  17. Does anyone know where the sox 2009 payroll will rank against the rest of MLB??

  18. PS— A very huge thanks to soxman for taking time out of his busy schedule to provide us with his perspective and a review of the players coming back to us in the trade. It’s really hard wen you don’t know much about your own farm system, let alone other teams

  19. Billy Blast says

    Soxman BLASTS other writers away!!! I second your opinion Gooch, which is wht he should be in the Red Eye as much as possible. :)

  20. you can’t put it on the board…

  21. the 2009 Sox are gonna stink.

    We are going to need “the worm” at the bottom of the Tequila bottle to get through this season. LOL.

  22. Yes..Great writing soxman. We truly appreciate your effort in keeping us informed.

  23. We love ya for all you do for us sox fans…MUAH!!!

  24. Myspace mike says

    Well myspace may be limited but Soxman you should remember one thing, it is how you started. Mr Banks: Soxman’s blogs on myspace are what brought many of us to you…at least me anyway.

    I’m hopeful the upside of these prospects are as bright as you’ve said Soxman. Good review. A+

  25. Have to agree with Mike. Soxman we would read your stuff it were written on a bathroom wall.

    But, it was the mention of the sportsbank in a Soxman blog that led me here for the first time.

  26. Monica All night Long says

    That makes a threesome Mike and Jill. I’m glad soxman led us here but his blogs in myspace deserve all the credit.

    Happy holidays Soxman!

  27. Well, myspace is how I actually met Soxman in the first place, so perhaps I have indeed underestimated the website’s power. It would be an even better web 2.0 application if they could get rid of all the annoying spam and constant stream of ads for online dating sites.

    And Sox it 2 Me is correct, I’ve seen the “kicking the Sox fan in the balls” video, and I really would have been better off not seeing it. ever. And it is truly not worth typing about. Let us not speak of it again.

  28. I love the Javier trade…I say go after Derek Lowe, I think you can get him for a cheap price. Also, he is the perfect Sox pitcher. He is a Slider typer gut and you know Coop will make him better…We need one more pitcher to make everything alright…I wish we kept Swisher a little, I know he had a bad year, but I think he would have bounced back..

    Banks, What Happen to Sarah Spain…

    Soxman, You are the Man!!!

    Moe Man Out

  29. Matt Saracen QB#1 says

    Yeah SOx need a new starting pitcher bad. almost as much as the Red Eye needs Soxman back

  30. C-Murder aka Chris Hellinga says

    Kenny has some tough decisions to make. He knows he has to rebuild, but wants to win now. The reality is this team is not going to win it all, so I’d pull the Dye/Jenks trade to the Mets for Martinez (stud CF prospect) and stockpile some young talent cause we all know our farm system is nothing to speak of. We keep our building blocks floyd, danks, quentin, and alexi, and develop the young talent acquired around them. Speaking as a sox fan I can’t bear to watch another season of longball or nothing, and seeing us get run straight out of the playoffs. Go Sox!!

  31. Matt Saracen #QB1 says

    May be we can just title this discussion thread “Forgetting Sarah Spain” ha ha!

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