Xavier Nady: To Trade or Not To Trade

Randy AbbottContributor IJanuary 9, 2009

After the Yankees' signing of Mark Teixeira, the Yankees have too many outfielders to play too few positions, and all the signals point to the Yankees trading one of their many outfielders.

Much of this speculation has led many to believe that the outfielder who will be traded will either be Nick Swisher or Xavier Nady. BE CAREFUL OF WHICH ONE YOU MOVE, BRIAN CASHMAN.

I look at these two players and try to determine who will be worth more in the long run, and it is apparent that Xavier Nady is more valuable than Nick Swisher. 

Nick Swisher is a mediocre offensive baseball player who's patience at the plate is average. Over the past three years, Nick Swisher has regressed as an offensive threat, while Nady has progressed each year of his career.

After reading reports on MLBTradeRumors.com about the Yankees wanting to trade Nady rather than Swisher, I thought to myself that this would not be logical if the Yankees are still concerned with retooling their farm system and continuing the development of players from within the organization. 

There are two main reasons for this thought.

One is the interest of other teams in trading for Nick Swisher rather than Xavier Nady. The other is Xavier Nady opting to file for free agency after the 2009 season.

There were several other teams, the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets in particular, who were extremely interested in acquiring Nick Swisher this offseason.

More teams showed interest in Swisher than Nady, so he would be easier to move. Along with that, Nick Swisher is due to make $5.3M in 2009, $6.75M in 2010, $9M in 2011, and a $10.25M club option for 2012. 

For a player who has averaged a .244 batting average over his career and a .451 slugging percentage over the same time period, he is not worth that type of pay over the next three or possibly four years.

Over the past three years, Xavier Nady has had a .289 batting average and has averaged 21 HR, 77 RBI, and 63 R per season while also showing a solid increase in slugging percentage during that time span. 

These stats would give Nady a solid enough resume to be a boarder line Type A free agent should he decline arbitration after the 2009 season, which will most likely happen because of his agent Scott Boras.

If the Yankees lose Nady, then they will receive a first or compensatory-round pick in the 2010 draft. Or if he continues to progress as he has been, he can be re-signed at a decent price, considering how the corner outfielder market has dropped this off season.

So my advice to Brian Cashman: Hold on to Xavier Nady unless you can find a team that will trade first-round draft pick talent for him. He is very underrated and performed beautifully down the stretch this past year.