Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats
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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Yankees - Acquired Nady
New York Yankees - Acquired OF Xavier Nady and P Damaso Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates for OF Jose Tabata, P Ross Ohlendorf, P George Kontos, P Phil Coke.
One would initially think that it was a weak haul for a hitter with an OPS+ of 142, but then again, the Yankees don’t get to acquire Nady’s season-to-date career year, just what’s coming. The Pirate offense has been surprisingly good this season, 2nd in the NL in runs scored, despite the infield being pretty terrible, thanks to the Outfield of Awesomeness and Ryan Doumit, who has hit too well this season for even the Pirates to be befuddled on how to continually screw him over. If the Pirates could have just found a second starting pitcher that wasn’t having a terrible season, they could have been seriously in contention right now.
Nady’s not going to continue to hit .330, but he can still contribute to a team that’s been forced by injuries to start Brett Gardner and organizational player Justin Christian in a prime offensive position. The Yankees sorely needed an upgrade and it was probably one of the better upgrades available that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Marte helps the Yankees quite a bit on tactical basis - the only lefty reliever that has pitched for the Yankees this season is Billy Traber (and a game from Igawa).
I’m shocked to realize that Jose Tabata doesn’t turn 20 for a few weeks. Did they dragoon him into a Yankees uniform at the age of 8 or something? I swear it was like 1996 when they signed him, we’ve been hearing about him so long, The Yankees were really hoping that Tabata would start developing some power by now, but he just hasn’t. However, he’s still quite young and there’s hope for him. If he turns out, he should turn out big, and the Pirates never really have guys like that. The Pirates do have some time to found out about him, with Tabata not going to block another prospect from playing time - the youngest starter of the AA Altoona Curve is 24 this season. Ohlendorf has an ugly ERA this season, but he still has a very good fastball and a very good heavy sinker, just some control problems and a career riddled with lousy breaking pitches. George Kontos is kind of the stealth prospect of this trade and may actually end up being the best pitcher. Rather unheralded for a Yankee prospect, Kontos has a good fastball/slider, Kontos’s only weak spot at this point is his change and he’s probably ready to move to AAA. Coke’s the throw-in, with weaker stuff than the other pitchers, but on the plus side, the knock on him was that righties would crush some of his C+ pitches but he’s had success against them, though I doubt that would be the case in the majors.
All-in-all, I’d actually call this a pretty good trade for both teams. The Pirates did take quantity over quality, but for a change, the quantity actually has some upside to it and the Pirates are usually quite poor at picking up players that could be huge if they work out. The Yankees go for the pennant every year and just don’t have the organizational patience for too many projects.
Apparently, the package magically changed, with Kontos and Coke staying with the Yankees and the Yanks now sending Daniel McCutchen and Jeff Karstens. It seems that there was something in Kontos’s health record the Bucs didn’t like, so while I like a healthy Kontos better than McCutchen, I’d rather have a healthy McCutchen than a non-healthy Kontos. McCutchen’s got an average-ish fastball and a plus splitter.
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