Pirates GM Neal Huntington said the organization doesn't plan to deal the highly sought-after closer, even though Pittsburgh sits outside of a playoff spot, and the July 31 trade deadline will raise the demand for relief pitching.
"We certainly understand why his name gets floated. He’s one of the best relievers in baseball," Huntington said to reporters on Sunday, including MLB.com's Adam Berry. "We’re sitting behind a handful of teams. There is a history of teams sitting behind a handful of teams being willing to trade players, so it makes sense. We also have four-plus years of potential contribution from one of the best relievers in baseball.
"My job is to listen when someone makes the call, but we’re not the one placing the calls to see what’s out there. If somebody wants to explore anybody on our club, we have to. Back in the day, we had to explore on anybody and it’s no different. It’s our job. The rumor mill takes it where it takes it."
"But we always have to entertain ways to make this organization - and ideally this current club - better," he continued. "Sometimes you make the future clubs better, but we fully anticipate Felipe will be closing the next playoff games that we’re a part of."
Vazquez is in the midst of another stellar campaign, authoring a 1.91 ERA in 39 games while converting 21 of 22 saves. The 28-year-old Venezuelan has recorded 79 saves since 2017.
The hard-throwing left-hander, who has reportedly piqued the Los Angeles Dodgers' interest, is fifth among National League relievers in K/9 (14.03), and he's been worth more WAR than all MLB relievers not named Kirby Yates, Liam Hendriks, or Josh Hader, according to FanGraphs.
Vazquez is also attached to a very appealing contract, with four more years of control following this season. He's due $5.25 million next year and $7.25 million in 2021, with $10-million team options in 2022 and 2023.