Braves Exchange Vazquez for Melky

And... the Phillies biggest competition in the National League East just got weaker! The New York Yankees traded Melky Cabrera to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Javier Vazquez.

Melky is a career .269 hitter and has a career .716 on-base plus slugging percentage. He has five major league years under his belt, and he is only 25.

Vazquez, a former Yankee, is 142-139 with a 4.19 career ERA. Vazquez pitched excellently with the Braves last season. He went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA in 219.1 innings pitched. He struck out 9.8 batters per nine.

The Yankees got the better end of the deal. Melky's decent, but the Braves are losing a solid pitcher, who pitched well for them last year. A good pitcher is arguably more valuable than an average outfielder, at best. Pitching can be hard to come by; there is a lot of outfield depth throughout the league.

With Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, and Derek Lowe, the Braves have a solid rotation, but it won't be as strong without Vazquez. The Yankees, on the other hand add Vazquez to a rotation that already involves CC Sabathia and A.J Burnett.

This could open the gate for a return of free agent Johnny Damon. Right now, the Yankee outfield consist of Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson. Brett Gardner would be the next best on the depth chart, but knowing the Yankees, they would want to do better.

In other MLB news, the Blue Jays acquired Brandon Morrow from the Seattle Mariners. Morrow would have been a great piece in the deal for Cliff Lee. Morrow is somebody that the Phillies need -- a reliever. Even if it wasn’t Seattle, plenty of teams would have listened on a Lee offer, so the Phils could have gotten more in return.

Speaking of the Lee trade and relievers, the Phillies are interested in Fernando Rodney. Rodney is seeking a 2-year $12 million deal. If that deal goes down, I won’t be happy. Some of that money could have belonged to Lee. The Angels are also interested.


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