Monday, July 28, 2008
If you watched any of the Yanks Sox games over the weekend than you most certainly have learned that the Yanks parted ways with 4 players in order to acquire Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady. And if you have watched this analyzed by anybody on FOX or ESPN you would have gathered that the Yankees just went to Pittsburgh punched the Pirates brass in the face and stole two players. Color me a little less impressed by the Yankees.
Sure if you look at the statline for Xavier Nady this year it looks great. The Yanks needed a corner outfielder and they needed a right hand bat. Nady is both and was hitting .330 for the Pirates. What's better than that? How about a player with some sort of historical track record both in the regular season or in the postseason. He's hit 20 home runs in a season just once, and he's 29 so he's not exactly young. He's had 3 postseason at bats in his entire career. He hit .264 for the Mets in 06 before they jettisoned him in another deal that was vastly criticized by people not named me. I'm not going to jump to conclusions after a single weekend, but Nady was completely useless in two games against the Sox, both in the field and at the plate. Hopefully I'm wrong I just think Nady is highly highly overrated by mostly everybody.
As for Damaso Marte it's nice that the Yanks bolstered their bullpen and added the missing lefty, but a starting pitcher would have been better. Surpsingly the bullpen has been the Yankees strength and while Marte is certainly a welcomed contributor he wasn't necessarily needed. Hopefully he's used as more than just a left handed specialist and if he is just used as a specialist let's hope that his splits resemble 07 (.094 average against lefties) more than 08 (.250 average against lefties).
Now here comes the other end of the deal. The initial report of what the Yankees were giving up was wrong. Instead of Phil Coke and George Kontos, two players I've never heard of, the Yanks gave up Jeff Karstens (a potential 5th starter) and Daniel McCutchen who has been tearing up the minor leagues. Currently McCutchen has 8 wins and an ERA of 3.14 in splits between Double-A and Triple-A. He's a potential MLB contributor. Ohlendorf has solid stuff and has the potential to become a solid contributor to a staff. And finally Tabata was once regarded as the single best prospect in the Yankees organization and while belittled a bit this year he's still 20 he still has potential and he definitely had more value in January of this year.
I'm not saying the Yankees shouldn't have done the deal, given the market, their injuries and their position in the race they needed to take action and this move filled two of the voids. I just don't think its the enormous win for the Yankees as everybody else seems to think and perhaps the singular reason is that I just don't think Xavier Nady is that good.