9. Dec. 4, 2003: Yankees Acquire Javier Vazquez From Expos for Nick Johnson & Co.
The trade that made the 2009-10 Yankees say, "Let's do this all again!"
Vazquez was viewed as the potential missing piece entering the 2004 season, a small-market strikeout artist who'd long been coveted and who could fill in any dominance gaps not already occupied by Kevin Brown. Plenty of teams thought they could save the right-hander from Montreal, Pedro Martinez-style, and they weren't exactly thorough in creating Step 2 of that plan after getting him out.
Somewhat forgotten is the fact that Vazquez made the 2004 All-Star Game in Houston with the Yanks, who dominated the balloting that year, completely unaware of the humiliation yet to come in October. What's remembered is his 4.91 ERA in 198 innings; Vazquez could eat innings, but he couldn't dominate them. And, yes, he walked five in 2.0 innings in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, throwing more gas on Brown's fire.
The Yankees really went out and nabbed this guy a second time, too. "He's changed! He loves big buildings and the spotlight now! He does, he promised!" He didn't.