2. Javier Vazquez pitches poorly twice for Yankees, 2003/2009
December 16, 2003: Traded by the Montreal Expos to the New York Yankees for Randy Choate, Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera.
December 22, 2009: Traded by the Atlanta Braves with Boone Logan to the New York Yankees for Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn, Arodys Vizcaino and cash.
The Yankees thought Javier Vazquez was so nice that they traded for him twice. And twice, he let them down. The first time is shame on you. The second time is shame on me.
The Yankees have to own this one.
In 2003, Vazquez was acquired from the then-Montreal Expos. The first half of the 2004 season was gangbusters, with Vazquez going 10-5 before the All-Star break. He made his first and only All-Star game appearance that season.
But it all fell apart after that. The self-destruction of Vazquez saw him go 4-5 in the second half. He started one game in the postseason, in which he surrendered five earned runs in five innings pitched to the Minnesota Twins, a game the Yankees actually won. The second series went about the same; he surrendered seven earned runs in 6.1 innings across two outings in the ALCS against the Red Sox. As you’ll recall, he was on the mound to surrender Kevin Brown’s runs in Game 7, getting rocked for the death-knell grand slam.
Having seen enough, the Yankees cried, “No mas!”. They then traded him and others to the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitcher Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson.
Round two was just as dramatic. In December of 2009, the Yankees acquired Vazquez from the Atlanta Braves in preparation for the 2010 season. At the time, the deal was considered a steal by the Yankees. After all, Vazquez was very good for Atlanta during the 2009 season. He pitched well enough to place fourth in the Cy Young voting.
But then the meltdown began immediately. Vazquez was unable to regain the form he had in Atlanta. He was 10-10 in 2010 with a 5.32 ERA. When the playoffs rolled around, he was banished to the black hole of the bullpen.
He was never to be seen nor heard from in a Yankee uniform again. Kind of like the last player on our list. Once he was gone, he was gone.