I’ve written some nasty things over the last few years about Javier Vazquez… and got an anonymous reader to lash out at me every time I did.
I got on his case when he was with the White Sox and I made the easy prediction that he was going to be a flop when he returned to the Yankees.
So you might think I am going to kill the Marlins for spending some of their revenue sharing by forking over $7 million to a guy who pitched himself out of a Yankees rotation that desperately needed an innings eater and off a playoff roster that screamed for bullpen depth.
It’s tough to get excited about someone who posted a 5.32 ERA for the season. A guy who posted a 5.96 ERA in August and a 8.84 ERA in September.
Yes, that first number was an 8… and yes he pitched in more than one game.
But truthfully, it is an ideal move for both the Marlins and Vazquez.
Florida should always be an ideal spot for pitchers to revive their reputations. Remember how Todd Jones became an All Star caliber closer in Miami?
Even the perennially awful Armando Benitez found his grove in the stadium formerly known as Joe Robbie.
Every once in a while, Vazquez puts together a terrific season that makes everyone think he is an ace. He’s not. He’s a .500 pitcher who throws a lot of innings and lets up a run about every other inning he throws.
He’ll probably go 16-5 next year… his ERA will be in the mid 3’s… he’ll be among the league leaders in innings pitched.
And his one year contract will be up and a team like the Mets or the Angels will overpay him and they’ll be stunned when he doesn’t post those numbers again.
And the back of his baseball card will get more and more cluttered… and he’ll have made over $100 million over his career.
$7 million will be well spent by the Marlins.
Good luck (and thanks again for both of Johnny Damon’s ALCS homers in 2004.)