Vazquez could return to the NL East

All is quiet on the Braves trade front.  But one of their former pitchers could change the landscape of the National League East if the Yankees acquire Cliff Lee. 

If they add Lee to their rotation, the Yankees are expected to attempt to trade Javier Vazquez.  This morning a National League scout said the buzz he’s hearing among his peers is that Vazquez could be dealt to the Phillies in exchange for Jayson Werth. 

Vazquez enjoyed one of the finest seasons of his career in Atlanta last year and continued his success against National League opponents by going 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA in four Interleague starts for the Yankees this year. 

But with Chase Utley sidelined until at least the latter portion of August, the Phillies may not feel comfortable moving one of their top offensive threats simply to attempt to improve their shaky rotation. 

The Braves don’t appear to have much interest in Corey Hart and they definitely won’t be dealing Mike Minor or any of their top young pitching prospects unless they gain a much more attractive return than Hart, who would only be under team control through the end of the 2011 season.

Once the Braves get a better feel about how productive Jason Heyward and Nate McLouth could be when they return from the disabled list, they’ll determine whether they want to add a starter or a bench player to their offensive mix before the July 31 trade deadline.

– Mark Bowman

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