Dunn, Vizcaino Head South In Trade To Braves
ATLANTA—Many observers looked at the Braves' recent deal that sent Javier Vazquez to the Yankees as a trade for outfielder Melky Cabrera. As far as both teams' front offices were concerned, that was far from the case.
While the Yankees also received lefthanded reliever Boone Logan, who spent most of last season in Triple-A, the Braves obtained righthander Arodys Vizcaino and lefthander Mike Dunn. Of the two, Dunn is closer to pitching in the big leagues, but Vizcaino's ceiling is as high as that of any hurler in the Atlanta organization.
Dunn, 24, made his major league debut in 2009 while going 4-3, 3.31 in 38 relief apperances between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Drafted by the Yankees in the 33rd round in 2004 out of the CC of Southern Nevada, the lefthander spent two years as a position player prior to moving to the mound after the 2006 slate.
According to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, Dunn was coveted by the Tigers during trade talks for Curtis Granderson. The southpaw has a 93-96 mph fastball and a low-to-mid 80s slider, offerings that can make him overpowering in short stints. Dunn's biggest problem has been control, with the lefty issuing 46 walks in 73 minor league innings last year.
The 19-year-old Vizcaino is even more intriguing. Signed by the Yankees out of the Dominican Republic in 2007 for $800,000, the righthander has an electric arm and an advanced feel for pitching for his age. He went 2-4, 2.13 in 10 starts for short-season Staten Island last summer. He struck out 52 and walked 15 over 42 innings.
Vizcaino has a mid-90s four-seam fastball and a plus-plus curveball. He has made impressive strides with his changeup and the development of a two-seam fastball. At 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, he has solid projectability, so much so that Cashman admitted, "He's the guy that could really come back to haunt us in this trade."
• GM Frank Wren and the Braves are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle by signing veteran Troy Glaus to play first base. The deal saves Atlanta from rushing first baseman Freddie Freeman during the 2010 campaign.
• A pair of farmhands have excelled in Mexico this winter. Toiling for Navojoa, outfielder Matt Young ranked among the league leaders in most offensive categories while hitting .316/.437/.530 with eight homers, 32 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. Righthander Tim Gustafson owned a 5-1, 2.93 mark in 10 games, including nine starts, with the same club.