Why The Yankees need Jorge ‘El Chato’ Vasquez now…
Jorge Vasquez is probably the Yankees best kept secret; at least to the majority of fans that don’t follow what’s going on in the minor leagues. He’s a veteran that’s been playing a total of 12 years in the minors; 8 with Triple-A Mexico and 2 apiece with Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He can play both corner infield positions and oh, by the way, he can hit the cover off of baseballs! Last year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Vasquez belted 32 homers and knocked in 93 RBI’s in just 455 at bats!
So why do the Yankees need to call the slugger up now? Several reasons. Having given up their DH slot for the upcoming season, Jesus Montero, in the trade for Michael Pineda, a void has been left. The other Jorge (Posada) will be announcing his retirement in the next week or two. The Yanks just signed Dodger pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a one year $10 million contract so they will not be looking to increase their already exorbitant payroll for a replacement at DH. They have been speaking with Carlos Pena and Johnny Damon, both aging vets with no real home this season. Pena is coming off of a one year deal with the Cubs where he batted just .225 and the Tampa Bay Rays have already told Damon that they don’t want him back. So rather than go after an ineffective 33 year old Pena or an aging 38 year old Damon, why not just pluck 29 year old Jorge Vasquez out of your Triple-A affiliate?
In the last four seasons ‘El Chato’ which is an affectionate term to one who has a small or snub nose, (which he does), averaged a home run every 16 at bats. He’s hit 50 homers in his last two seasons and drove in 155 runs while batting around .267. He’s been in the minors for over a decade, he’s hungry, and sure to be a crowd favorite. (Think Hideki Matsui and all the attention he grabbed when he first came to the Yankees). If Brian Cashman is looking to keep the payroll down, then he need not look any further than his own farm system. What does he and the Yankees have to lose?