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As You Expected, the Yankee Rumors Cool
2003-12-04 09:41
by Jon Weisman

The Yankees appear to have traded Nick Johnson for a starting pitcher, but it's not Kevin Brown or Odalis Perez, but rather Javier Vasquez of the Montreal Expos.

With Jeff Weaver still penciled for the Yankee rotation, the Yankee interest in one of the Dodger starters won't have diminished, but ...

(Jay Jaffe of The Futulity Infielder analyzes the Yankees starting pitching needs with ferocious detail. The caveat is that he concludes with what the Yankees should do, as opposed to what they will do. Nevertheless, on a list of targets that placed Vasquez fourth, Brown is third and Perez is fifth.)

... with Johnson gone, Dodger general manager Dan Evans may shut things down. Unless he is encouraged by the news contained in this New York Times report:

Weaver (reported) to Tampa to work with Billy Connors, the organizational pitching guru who has since been hospitalized after bypass surgery last weekend.

Weaver said in a telephone interview that Connors altered his arm angle, telling him he had been throwing sidearm too often and swinging his leg too far behind him in his delivery. Weaver was relieved to find a mechanical cause for his struggles.

"It's like if you practice a bad golf swing over and over, you're not going to really notice what you're doing after a while," he said. "I was throwing sidearm for so long, I didn't even realize I was down so low and really dropping my head."

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times passes along Paul Konerko as the Dodger target o' the day. I was a little disappointed by this, because I think he's overvalued in the current market. (See my analysis of Konerko here.) As I wrote then, the trade is valid only if the White Sox picked up some salary.

* * *

Paul Quantrill's imminent signing with the Yankees could yield two high draft picks for the Dodgers (then again, maybe not, according to post #116). A fringe benefit is that because he was so superb with the Dodgers in 2003, and because some of that suberbity had to do with Cora and Izturis fielding the many ground balls hit off his pitches (he induced more than two grounders for every fly and for every strikeout while with the Dodgers), Dodger fans are not likely to be tortured by seeing another player leave Los Angeles and perform better elsewhere.

Which is not to say that we won't see Quantrill pitching in October without us.

I congratulate Quantrill for being rewarded for his risk in opting out of his Dodger contract. I question whether he is worth the near-$7 million committment for two years that the Yankees have reportedly promised him, but wish him the best.

Oh, and reports that erstwhile Dodger Larry Barnes is following Mike Kinkade to Japan.

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