Yanks deal Melky to Braves for ace Vazquez

BY Ken Rosenthal • December 22, 2009

The Yankees on Tuesday traded center fielder Melky Cabrera to Atlanta for Braves right-hander Javier Vazquez.

The Braves will also receive Class AAA left-hander Michael Dunn and a Class A pitcher. The Yankees will get left-handed reliever Boone Logan.

Vazquez, 33, is set to earn $11.5 million next season in the final year of his contract. It is not known whether the Braves are including cash in the deal.

The addition of Vazquez gives the Yankees a powerhouse front four in their starting rotation -- CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Vazquez.

Either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain will be the fifth starter. The Yankees will use one of them in the bullpen.

Vazquez went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA for the Braves last season. He has worked 200 or more innings in nine of the past 10 seasons. The exception was 2004, when he worked 198.

The Braves are trading him to clear money for another move -- the addition of a big hitter. Cabrera, 25, does not qualify, but the Braves need outfielders.

Before the trade, the only outfielders on their roster were Nate McLouth, Matt Diaz, Brandon Jones, Gregor Blanco and Jordan Schaefer.

Cabrera, who batted .274 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs last season, will fit somewhere into that mix. And while his salary will jump from $1.4 million in arbitration, the Braves still would gain significant financial flexibility by trading Vazquez.

Logan, acquired by the Braves from the White Sox in the Vazquez trade last December, was 1-1 with a 5.19 ERA in 20 relief appearances. He held left-handers to a .231 average and figures to fill the hole created by the departure of Phil Coke, who was sent to Detroit in a deal that brought New York center fielder Curtis Granderson.

Atlanta had a surplus of starting pitching after giving Tim Hudson a $28 million, three-year contract in November. The trade left the Braves with a rotation that includes Hudson, Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami.

The 24-year-old Dunn had a combined 99 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre and Double-A Trenton, going 4-3 with a 3.31 ERA in 38 relief appearances. He made his major league debut on Sept. 4 and had a 6.75 ERA in four appearances.

Vizcaino, who is 19, was 2-4 with a 2.13 ERA at Class A Staten Island, striking out 52 in 42 1/3 innings.

News of the deal was first reported by the New York Post. The framework was first reported by SI.com.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.




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