Welcome Aboard, Nady and Marte: Great Trade

Early in the game, Mike and Nick alerted the HDLR to a terrific trade the Yanks made. Sending minor-leaguers outfielder Jose Tabata, pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, righty pitcher George Kontos, and lefty Phil Coke to the Pirates, the Yankees got outfielder Xavier Nady and lefty reliever Damaso Marte in return. This is an excellent trade that has real potential to propel the Yankees to big things, and that’s not an exaggeration.

There are many positives to this deal. This first is that the Yankees did not surrender any of their top-notch prospects for proven major leaguers who can help now. Ohlendorf has potential but, after pitching an inning, was eminently hittable. He also showed a disturbing propensity to leave the ball up in the zone, offsetting his 95-mph fastball and effective sinker. Had the Yanks traded Robertson or Kennedy, I would have been at least a bit wary, but that didn’t occur. In dealing Tabata, the Yanks traded a guy who was at least a couple years away from contributing, who has pretty decent numbers (3 HR, 36 RBI, .248/.320/.630) for a kid but, as a kid 19 years of age, has also shown that he has maturity issues. He needs to develop plate patience, and only 12 of his 73 hits have been for XBH this year. Kontos is a 23-year-old righty who was 3-9 with a 3.77 ERA at Trenton, fanning 103 in 107 1/3 IP in 20 starts. Coke is a 26-year-old lefty who spent most of this year in Trenton, where he was 9-4 with a 2.60 ERA, fanning 109 in 114 1/3 IP. While I’ve heard of Coke, Kontos is admittedly off my minor-league radar. But in assessing the four players the Yanks dealt, none of them were top-notch prospects ready to contribute right now, with Tabata perhaps down the road developing and maturing and Ohlendorf starting in NY but being sent down after struggling–1-1, 6.53 ERA, 1.725 WHIP. Girardi swung him between short and long stints early, which didn’t help, but had Ohlendorf performed like Robertson or Veras, he’d still be in pinstripes.

Also positive in this deal is that the Yanks got contributors now and in key positions. Nady is having a career year at the plate (.330/.383, 13 HR, 57 RBI), can play right but also left and a little center, has 10 outfield assists this year, and importantly is a righty bat who will solidify the bottom half of the lineup. I’d expect him to bat 6th or 7th, before or after Cano–perhaps before to break up the lefties Giambi and Cano. He’s also played a little first. Conceivably, he could replace Abreu should the Yanks not re-sign BA, though I’m not urging that yet but, at 29, the Yanks have gotten a good bat, a good outfielder, and not an old man.

Marte is a plum, a coveted lefty reliever which the Yankees have lacked–though their bullpen hasn’t suffered. Historically, he’s been very tough on lefties (.198 career BAA) but, this year, has been tougher on righties (.200) than lefties (.255), giving the Yankees even more flexibility. In 46 2/3 IP this year, Marte is 4-0 with a 3.47 ERA, has allowed only 4 HRs, has a WHIP of 1.157, has fanned 47 and, after allowing 9 earned runs in his first 9 appearances (in three games), has allowed a grand total of 9 earned runs in his next 38 appearances. He and Nady have been on rolls, and the Yanks get them at the right time.

The cost is also attractive. Marte has a $6 million option for 2009–basically Nuke money for even better numbers, though Nuke has finally been good this year–and a very cheap $250,000 buyout should the Yanks not want him, though that’s unlikely. Nady is making a dirt-cheap $3.35 million this year and, should the Yanks want him for 2009 and beyond, would likely not pay close to what they’ve paid Abreu who, by the way, hasn’t exactly been a bust.

The Yanks have just obtained a right-handed hitting outfielder with a good arm, a guy who hits with some power and for average, whom they needed to supply offense in left field, and who might be a long-term consideration. They also got a lefty reliever who has been excellent in recent years, with a low WHIP, who hasn’t yielded a lot of homers, who is historically tougher on lefties but has dominated righties this year, and who adds another late-game option to an already deep pen. When watching Marte this year, though his delivery is certainly different, I’ve thought of one guy in the past, one lefty in the great Yankees run of the late 1990s who made a big difference and was plain money in the post-season–Mike Stanton. If the Yanks have gotten someone close to Stanton in performance, look out. BTW, so long Hawkins. No offense, you’re a nice guy by all accounts, but it hasn’t worked out.

What’s not to like about this trade? The more I think about it, the more jazzed I am. Heck of a deal, Cashman, and without sacrificing the farm and its most crucial components. I’m officially impressed.

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 11:29 pm  Comments (16)  

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. i’m thrilled about- as you say…what’s not to like…or LOVE? we needed a bat and a got a pretty decent one–no he isn’t matsui—but we don’t have matsui

  2. Your post basically mirrors mine, Jason. Great minds think alike. 🙂

    We both love this deal.

  3. like mike s. said you pretty much covered it. i’m loooving this trade. cash is the man. the yanks’ not so distant future just started looking a lot brighter.

  4. Deal’s different. Ohlendorf and Tabata are going, but apparently the Pirates had a list to choose from for the two other guys, and although Coke and Kontos were on the list, they are taking Karstens and McCutchen. It’s a little more for the Yanks to give up, but it’s still a good deal.

  5. karstens was completely useless- perhaps kontos could at least be a lefty out of the pen at some point.

  6. Thanks, guys. I’ll post on the amended trade later. I’m back on a brief break between GLG’s softball tournament games. The team is in the semi-finals at 1 CT and, if they win, finals at 3 local time. Go Storm and Go Yankees!

  7. hawkins DFA— gardy sent down

    from the FAN

  8. Kontos is a righty, Mike. Coke is the lefty.

  9. sorry for the error

  10. you said to alert you when i was doing an in-gamer. well, i’m doing one today… though you’re probably busy lol.

  11. Canoe’ is on fire. The yankees look steller from every angle. Did you guys see JOba fibbling the baseball when A-rod got popped? It’s like he was taunting Youkilis.

  12. Great Trade …

    You can’t say much more than that.

    Excellent moves by Brian Cashman !!!

    — Jimmy [27NYY]


  13. Sidney’s numbers are horrible against Boston but the Yankees have blasted the opposition when he’s on the mound. Well Cashman has been busy filling the holes in the line-up left & right. Did you know there is a Gonzo’ movie coming out Jason?


  15. I hope he doesn’t counter his past deal giving up anything unnecessary for Washburn. Which I hope to be a Sexon type of low risk mild reward. 2 1/2 games left to restore the balance in the universe.

  16. Leo, you have a good eye for detail. I too saw that from Joba during the game. I wasn’t too exercised about Hansen beaning A-Rod. It was entirely predictable, Joba did start it the night before intentionally or not, and it might end there. Then again, considering Ponson is pitching today, he might just plant one in Ramirez’s ribs.

    I feel the same way about the Marte/Nady trade, Jimmy. Great moves, all the better after watching Marte K Ortiz.

    I’m leery of a potential trade for Washburn, Leo. He might come in and be a solid lefty who can pitch to the dimensions of Yankee Stadium, and he usually does well there. But I don’t like the price, I don’t like that Washburn has regressed (22-38, 4.63 ERA) since the start of 2006. Like you, any trade for Washburn absolutely cannot sacrifice much. I’m for a rotation upgrade, and the timing of Kennedy’s near no-hitter makes it tough because he might be an internal option to consider, but don’t feel that Washburn provides much more on paper than Ponson/Rasner.

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