Yankees land stud VazquezWhen Javier Vazquez last threw a pitch for the New York Yankees, it was a nadir in the team’s storied history. He gave up two homers to Johnny Damon, including a key grand slam, as the Yankees lost Game 7 of the 2004 AL championship series to Boston.
NEW YORK (AP) — When Javier Vazquez last threw a pitch for the New York Yankees, it was a nadir in the team’s storied history. He gave up two homers to Johnny Damon, including a key grand slam, as the Yankees lost Game 7 of the 2004 AL championship series to Boston.
Now Vazquez is back, acquired Tuesday from the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Melky Cabrera as New York tweaks its championship roster in an effort to win back-to-back titles.
“Hopefully, I can erase those memories,” Vazquez said.
And while Vazquez has returned to fortify a rotation headed by CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte, there still appears to be no room on the 2010 Yankees for Damon, a key to this year’s World Series win.
In a trade that pushed New York’s payroll for next season over $200 million, the Yankees also obtained left-hander Boone Logan and sent the Braves a pair of pitching prospects, left-hander Mike Dunn and right-hander Arodys Vizcaino, along with about $500,000.
It’s hard to imagine the Yankees using Brett Gardner or winter meeting draft pick Jaime Hoffman as their regular left fielder. While Cashman sounded as if he was ruling out Damon and fellow free agents Matt Holliday and Jason Bay, Mark DeRosa could fit into his price range. While DeRosa’s agent, Lonnie Cooper, has spoken with Cashman, Cooper said the GM hasn’t discussed any “next steps.”
Atkins, Orioles finalize $4.5 million, 1-year deal
BALTIMORE — The Orioles were relentless in their pursuit of Garrett Atkins because they were confident the third baseman could rebound from a surprisingly poor 2009 season.
“They were the first one to call, showed the most interest, were able to provide the most playing time,” Atkins said Tuesday after passing his physical and finalizing a $4.5 million, one-year contract. “They obviously had the most confidence in me out of all the teams out there.”
The 30-year-old had spent his entire seven-year major league career with the Rockies.
Marquis’ $15M, 2-year deal fills Nationals void
WASHINGTON — After a game at Nationals Park last season, Jason Marquis had a chance to talk with John Lannan, a second-year pitcher atop a rotation consisting of four rookies.
On Tuesday, the appropriately named veteran became the Marquis name on that very staff, signing a $15 million, two-year contract to join the Washington Nationals. He immediately jumps to the top of the rotation and adds a vocal presence to a staff that is also expected to include No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg in the near future.
Oliver, Rangers finalize $3.5M, 1-year deal
DALLAS — Reliever Darren Oliver and the Texas Rangers have finalized a $3.5 million, one-year contract that includes a club option for 2011.
After spending the past three seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Oliver starts his third stint with Texas. The 39-year-old left-hander began his career with the Rangers, pitching for them from 1993-98. He was back with Texas from 2000-01.
Jays close to getting Morrow for League
SEATTLE — A baseball official familiar with the talks says the Toronto Blue Jays are close to acquiring former No. 1 draft choice Brandon Morrow from the Seattle Mariners for fellow reliever Brandon League and a prospect.
Multiple reports say Seattle also is getting 20-year-old, Class A outfielder Yohermyn Chavez.