and kenny williams, a general manager i saw fit to disparage for years, is proving that he has come of age in this game. landing a proven, talented, durable starter like vazquez -- who is under a yankee-cash-payment-assisted contract until after 2007 -- for an ancient and frail duque, a middle-aged middle reliever and one very talented prospect who would soon be caught in a logjam of talented outfielders in the sox organization (jerry owens, ryan sweeney, brian anderson and joe borchard all ready for charlotte or more) is a very smart move -- one that may help the sox run deep into october again in 2006. moreover, with duque slotted to make $4.5mm and luis vizcaino another $1.3mm, as well as the rumor that the deal includes cash going from arizona to chicago, the sox pick up relatively little in additional salary obligation.
meanwhile -- as with the milton bradley deal -- one wonders where jim hendry was in this situation. the price certainly wasn't too steep to pay. rumors have surrounded korey patterson and the d-backs all offseason, particularly since the cubs signed pierre. it's no secret that the cub rotation is pretty average and injury prone, and would have been helped in any case by vazquez.