The Pittsburgh Pirates traded Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the New York Yankees on Saturday, receiving Jose Tabata, Dan McCutchen, Jeff Karstens, and Ross Ohlendorf, all currently minor-leaguers, in return.
Nady has been in trade talks for a while now, and was finally traded. The Yankees were considered one of the top contenders for Nady, with a need for a right-handed bat in an ailing outfield. Here's the breakdown:
Yankees Get: OF Xavier Nady (13 HR, 57 RBI, .327 average), LHP Damaso Marte (4-0, 3.45 ERA)
Nady is already on pace to set personal single-season highs in most offensive categories as a member of the sub-.500 Pirates. With the Yankees, he will bat in a lineup that has much more protection. He will probably be hitting lower in the lineup, and will have guys on base more often than not when he is at bat. Look for a 90-100 RBI season if he keeps his average above .300.
Marte has yet to pitch an 80 inning season in his career, but averages less than an inning per relief appearance. He will be a specialist, and is the only left-hander in the Yankees bullpen. Look for him to have 30-40 appearances with his new team, and to have an ERA closer to 3.00 by the end of the year.
Nady and Marte have already had an impact with their new team. In Saturday's win against Boston, Nady was 0-3 with a walk and a run scored. Marte struck out David Ortiz with two men on in the seventh inning, preserving a 10-3 win.
Pirates Get: OF Jose Tabata (3 HR, 36 RBI, .248, AA), RHP Dan McCutchen (4-6, 3.58, AAA-IL), RHP Jeff Karstens (6-4, 3.80, AAA-IL), RHP Ross Ohlendorf (1-1, 6.53)
Jeff Karstens rose through the minors last year, but was hammered in 7 appearances in the majors, recording an ERA of 11.05. His 2008 AAA numbers are not bad for a starter. He may pitch come September, and his performance may determine if the Pirates will hold him or trade him in the upcoming off-season.
Dan McClutchen has minor-league numbers similar to Karstens, allowing close to a hit per inning but with a good K:BB ratio. He may also be pitching for a job in September.
Jose Tabata was considered the Yankees third-best prospect by Baseball America, but with quite a few outfielders in the majors, the Yankees could afford to part with one in the minors. He will have to increase his production for at least another two years before a big-league team gives him a chance.
Ohlendorf has the most major league experience of the four. After 6.1 promising innings of relief work in 2007, he imploded in 2008, giving up 31 runs (29 earned) in 25 appearances. Moving to the National League may help him, and while he's still in AAA, expect him to be given the chance to prove himself when the rosters expand in September. With experience as a starter, expect him to stay on the team at least through Spring Training 2009.
Short-Term Advantage: Yankees
Obviously, the Yankees are using Nady and Marte to get them to the playoffs this year. They are streaking, but without Nady and Marte they miss the playoffs.
Long-Term Advantage: Yankees
Yankees GM Brian Cashman has already announced his anticipation for Nady and Marte to be a part of the Yankees for at least through 2009. They both have a few good years left, and will be assets to the team as long as they wear pinstripes. The Yankees have a tendency to have a weak bullpen and an injury-prone outfield. Nady and Marte will provide insurance.
The four minor-leaguers the Pirates receive have limited big-league experience, and the experiences have not been good. Pirates pitching has struggled this year, but the Pirates will only take a chance when the rosters expand. Tabata will not get a chance anytime soon, and each of the pitchers will be pitching for a job next year.