Whoever said that cringe-inducing cliché that one can't go home again obviously didn't have the New York Yankees in mind.
First, once heralded prospect Nick Johnson returned to the borough of his origin. Now the man Johnson was once traded by the Yankees for, Javier Vazquez, will also don the pinstripes again, giving them the above-average third starter they have so badly needed. (he was fourth in the NL Cy Young voting last season).
In 2004 Vazquez was a 27-year-old pitcher who had spent his six year career in in the low-profile environment of Montreal. In his fourth season he broke out as one of the most promising young stars in the National League, with his last three years with the Expos highlighted by low WHIPs and high K/9 ratios (sabermetric stats GM Brian Cashman was just becoming hip to).
But Vazquez was only given one shot in 2004 New York and he didn't live up to expectations. Posting a 14-10 record with a 4.91 ERA, Javier was routinely pounded by hitters and serenaded by Yankee fans with Bronx cheers. Even his WHIP registered in at 1.268 (over a point and a half higher than the previous season) and his K/9 ratio plummeted from 9.4 in 2003 to 6.8 in his stint with the Yankees. After getting bombed by Boston in the infamous 2004 ALCS, the promising young pitcher was prematurely shipped off to the Diamondbacks for the aging and ornery Randy Johnson. And every Yankees fan remembers how well that turned out.
But after an excellent season in 2009 with the Braves when Vazquez went 15-10 with a career best 2.87 ERA and most importantly (especially now to the fully Sabermetric-embracing Cashman) recorded a pristine 1.026 WHIP and a career high 9.8 K/9 ratio against a career low 1.8 BB/9 mark, Javier is back with the Yankees. And this time New York didn't have to give up much for the pitcher.