• Xavier Nady & Damaso Marte

    Posted by on July 25th, 2008 · Comments (17)

    I thought I would provide some analysis on what the Yankees reportedly acquired and gave up this evening.

    First, Damaso Marte. The Yankees looked into picking him up back in December of 2006 and again last December. And, now, they finally got him. And, maybe, they might keep him for next year too. Marte has some value. And, he’s pitched on a championship team. But, he’s not always perfect either. Then again, he’s going to help the Yankees a lot more than someone…say…like LaTroy Hawkins or Billy Traber.

    Next, Xavier Nady. He’s an interesting case. Nady was the 49th overall pick in the 2000 draft and the California League’s Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in 2001. After that, for the next three years, he had more downs than ups. From 2005 through 2007, Nady appeared to be a decent big league player – with an average stick. In fact, during that period, he had 1,338 Plate Appearances and created one run above what an average batter would have produced in that playing time.

    However, this season, at age 29, Xavier Nady has been one of the best hitters in his league – albeit over a span of less than 100 games. Has he turned a corner now, or, is he just a flash in the pan?

    Well, put it this way – he’s better than Justin Christian. Now, the Yankees can play Nady in left, have Johnny Damon DH, send Christian back to the minors, and use Brett Gardner off the bench. Plus, the Yankees will have Nady under contract for 2009 – and they can then use him in right field (in place of Bobby Abreu and keeping that spot warm for Austin Jackson). And, even if 2008 is a fluke, Nady has shown that he can be a league average batter…and that’s not terrible. In fact, this season, Bobby Abreu has been just about a “league average” performer – in terms of creating runs. So, perhaps, at the worst, Xavier Nady can be a right-handed Bobby Abreu for the Yankees next season?

    Bottom line, the Yankees, in picking up these two players, have now improved their big league roster for the next two months – and perhaps for next year as well. But, at what cost?

    Ross Ohlendorf, George Kontos, and Phil Coke are, indeed, pitching prospects. But, at best, they’re what you would call “C+” prospects – again, at best – and not blue-chip pitching prospects. Given the number of “C+” pitching prospects in the Yankees system, New York can afford to trade these guys to help their big league team now.

    Now, Jose Tabata is another story. Many consider him to be a future star because, prior to this season, he’s had a high batting average in the minors and he won’t be 20-years old until next month. I’ve already seen comments from some Yankees fans that New York has “sold low” on Tabata by shipping him out now.

    However, Jose Tabata has also had injury issues, his attitude has been questioned by some scouts in the past – and he’s been disciplined for insubordination a couple of times this season. Plus, he’s yet to show any homerun power to date.

    Tabata could just be one of those guys…like José Malavé, Alex Escobar, or Roberto Petagine…who looks great in the minors, at a young age, and never cuts in the majors. More times than not, that’s the case. And, based on the strikes against Tabata, to date, I don’t think the Yankees “sold low” on him – I think they sold “just in time.” Of course, time will tell as to whether or not I’m correct on this one.

    Comments on Xavier Nady & Damaso Marte

    1. yankees76
      July 26th, 2008 | 1:09 am

      Steve, I usually wait until you do something four or five times before I call you out on it.

      You read that some Yankees fans thought the team “sold low” on Tabata over at riveraveblues.com. Go ahead, admit it. It’s not a crime to acknowledge other website’s/blogger’s content. Riveraveblues and PeteAbe have both acknowledged you this month. Return the favor. It’s ok. Really. And please, stop pretending you have this magical link to Yankees fans and know what they’re thinking and saying (without turning on a computer and clicking your mouse). To be honest with you, if you heard these sentiments from some morons at your local bar in Joy-see, I could care less about their sentiments; whereas, I’d actually be more interested/take more note of your views and analysis if you noted that posters over at RAB were expressing a certain viewpoint, because frankly, the content and views expressed over there are more thoughtful than those expressed at most of the bars that you and I enjoy.

      Now, for the substance of your post, I couldn’t agree more about Tabata, but I probably feel that way because Eric Duncan has been such a bust (for different reasons from Tabata) and because Joba and IPK skipped through the Yankees minor leagues so quickly. I realize there’s a difference between special pithers and special position players, but I actually don’t think it makes sense to wait four more years for Tabata. And, I actually do think it will be four more years. He’ll be 24 then. He should be good at that point, if he’s ever going to be.

      Austin Jackson could, potentially, be playing in the Majors after the All-Star Break next year, although a September call-up and 2010 start seems more likely, given the Yankees OF contracts.

      Personally, I think we “sold high” on Tabata, not low. And, you know what, we may never know. Even if he goes on to be an All-Star, it could be the fact that the Yankees dumped/traded him that finally gets him motivated to realize his potential. Maybe he wouldn’t have reached that potential WITHOUT getting traded to a second-tier National League team. We can’t know these things.

    2. July 26th, 2008 | 1:24 am

      yankees76 – actually, I got the “sold low” thing from mehmattski’s and zukatesta’s comments here:


      For the record, I spend about two hours a day “writing” for this blog – and about another hour a day doing “admin” stuff for this blog…like deleting SPAM, approving comments for first time users, etc. So, that doesn’t leave me a lot of time to read other blogs…since I do have a life outside the blog…with family and such…

      So, most of the Yankees fan feedback that I get is via comments left on this blog. That’s the truth – regardless of what you might want to believe and/or claim.

    3. Don
      July 26th, 2008 | 3:22 am

      Put the X-Man in RF, and remove Mr. Softee, aka Mr. -17, to DH, as soon as Damon can play LF.

      Tabata is likely Wily Mo Pena II.

    4. yankees76
      July 26th, 2008 | 4:48 am

      Fine, Steve, but PeteAbe gave you props tonight.


      I know you will return the favor when you get a chance. His blog is the only beat writer’s worth reading.

    5. DJ21996
      July 26th, 2008 | 5:11 am

      No no no no.

      The choice between Christian and Gardner as bench players should be an easy choice for Christian.
      Christian is what he is, a AAAA player with great speed. Where as Gardner still has some prospect status and needs AB’s to carry on his development.

      Send Gardner to Scranton to work on the things that were exposed here and let Christian be the Pinch Runner type.

    6. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      July 26th, 2008 | 8:51 am

      If you sold high on Tabata, you’d have to get a lot more talent in return than Nady and Marte.

      As Steve points out, Nady is league average, until this year. Is that the start of something different? Age 29 is a bit late in most player’s prime to have “figured it out”. And Nady as replacement for Abreu – well, maybe if Abreu is declining and not worth another contract, then he’ll probably be close to Abreu’s production going forward.

      But he ain’t Abreu the OBP machine. He ain’t Abreu the number three hitter in front of A-Rod that Alex loves so much.

      As for Marte, he’s a useful arm, nothing more. His ERA this year is a huge jump over last year, and over his career number, too. And he allows lefties a better BAA than righties. If they are smart and DFA Hawkins, than its a good move, but this isn’t a blow away acquisition.

    7. July 26th, 2008 | 8:54 am

      But, check the stats. Abreu isn’t “Abreu” anymore either. This year, he’s been hot and cold – and average overall…and yet the Yankees are winning…

      You don’t need a superstar three hitter when your pitching is outstanding.

    8. July 26th, 2008 | 9:01 am

      ~~Steve, but PeteAbe gave you props tonight~~

      And, I appreciate that. Tyler Kepner also linked to that “Fenway” piece that I did. Thanks to services like technorati, and features of WP, I can tell when someone links to me. (And, in the cases where it’s a major site doing it, I usually send them an e-mail thanking them. But, is that really anyone else’s business?)

      Hey, it’s not like I never read other blogs. I do check BBTF everyday. And, I so try to read the “media” Yankees blogs out there as well – like Pete, Bats, Kat O’Brien, Ed Price, Feinsand, etc. They’re great sources for breaking news. And, I do provide a “hat tip” to them when I cite them.

      yankees76 – what’s your point on all this? Do you even have one, or, are you just trying to take shots at me again, based on nothing, for your own enjoyment?

    9. July 26th, 2008 | 9:02 am

      ~~Send Gardner to Scranton to work on the things that were exposed here and let Christian be the Pinch Runner type.~~

      FWIW, I see the sense in that and could live with it. Plus, Gardner bats right. Which could help off the bench.

    10. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      July 26th, 2008 | 9:13 am

      You don’t need a superstar three hitter when your pitching is outstanding.

      The pitching is “outstanding” going forward? The pitching is outstanding, right now, since the break. No pitching staff is outstanding when forty percent of the starters are named Ponson or Rasner.

      What you do need in the third spot is someone whose career average isn’t .280. Nady may replace Abreu in RF, he will not under any circumstances replace him the three hole.

    11. July 26th, 2008 | 9:34 am

      Does Nady have to bat third? For all we know, next season, Jeter could be batting third for the Yankees…or whoever is playing 1B. Where was it written/said that Nady was going to be the Yankees three-hitter…this season…or next year?

    12. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      July 26th, 2008 | 9:56 am

      Uh, when you said that you don’t need a superstar hitter in the three spot if your pitching is outstanding? I mean, we were talking about Nady as replacement for Abreu.

      And I’d love to see Jeter batting third, if he is indeed in his decline phase.

    13. halloroj
      July 26th, 2008 | 10:18 am

      this is an unbelievable deal. its a steal. who cares what tabata will be like in 4-5 years, we don’t have time to wait for that. if they need an outfielder five years from now then they can sign some free agent for a lot of money like they always do. the team is hot and gets two solid big leaguers who can help the team now when they have a chance to make a run for the series and restore the world order to its pre 2004 status (yanks over sox).

    14. July 26th, 2008 | 10:39 am

      ~~Uh, when you said that you don’t need a superstar hitter in the three spot if your pitching is outstanding? I mean, we were talking about Nady as replacement for Abreu.~~

      I think we had a disconnect there. I meant Nady could play RF, in place of Abreu, in 2009. And, I meant that you don’t need a superstar with an OPS of 900+ batting third, when you have outstanding pitching. But, I didn’t mean that Nady bats third for the Yankees in 2009. He could bat 5th or 6th…and that would be fine.

      The 1B TBA may bat 3rd. Or, maybe a new LF bats 3rd? Or, it could be Jeter. Nothing can be determined now.

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