New York Yankees acquire OF Xavier Nady and RP Damaso Marte

by Tim Piotrowski on July 25, 2008 @ 15:43:36 PDT


Jon Heyman, of, reports the New York Yankees have acquired outfielder Xavier Nady and relief pitcher Damaso Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Jose Tabata, pitcher Ross Ohlendorf and two other minor league players. The trade is pending medical clearance.

Ken Rosenthal, of, reports the other two prospects involved in the trade are pitchers Phil Coke and George Kontos.

Nady and Marte were two of the more sought after players in the trade market and will fill some of the Yankees' current needs.

Nady, acquired to replace injured designated hitter Hideki Matsui (knee), has been having one of his better seasons this year. He is hitting .330 with 13 home runs and 57 RBIs in 88 games. He has struck out 55 times and walked 25 times this season. Nady has not been known has a power hitter - 20 is his career high - but has hit well for average, hitting .300 two of the last three seasons.

Marte has pitched very well for the Pirates this season. He is 4-0 with five saves, a 3.47 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 47 appearances. He has struck out 47 batters and walked 16 batters in 46 2/3 innings. He also pitched very well in 2007, when he went 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 65 appearances last season. He struck out 51 batters and walked 18 in 45 1/3 innings. He has been more of a left-handed specialist in his career, only compiling 36 saves in 494 appearances. This season, he is holding right-handed hitters to a .200 average and left-handed hitters to a .255 average.

Tabata is struggling a bit for Double-A Trenton. He is hitting .248 with three home runs, 36 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 79 games. He has struck out 49 times and walked 26 times in 294 at-bats.

Ohlendorf was roughed up as a reliever with the Yankees this year. He is 1-1 with a 6.53 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP in 25 appearances. He has struck out 36 batters and walked 19 batters in 40 innings, but has allowed seven home runs in that span. He has not done much better with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He is 1-1 with a 4.03 ERA in five starts. He has struck out 25 batters and walked five batters in 22 1/3 innings.

From a fantasy standpoint, Nady will likely see playing time in the outfield and at designated hitter, so he is an immediate pickup in AL-only leagues. Consider using a heavy part of your Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) on him if you need offensive help. He should help a fantasy team out with all the offensive categories except for steals. However, he loses some value since he could lose some playing time given the presence of outfielder Johnny Damon, whom he will split time with in the outfield and at DH.

Marte loses fantasy value because he obviously will not be closing for the Yankees barring an injury to closer Mariano Rivera. He can be dropped in mixed leagues if owners want to look for a closer that is available on the waiver wire. Owners in deep mixed and AL-only leagues can think about picking up Marte if they need strikeouts and ratios.

None of the players that the Pirates received in this trade will have immediate trade value but could have some down the road. Ohlendorf could be the exception in NL-only leagues if he finds himself in the starting rotation. Tabata is about a year away from the majors.

The Pirates have a few options in the minor leagues to replace Nady. Outfielder Andrew McCutchen is considered one of the Pirates' best prospects. He is hitting .280 with nine home runs, 38 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 99 games with Triple-A Indianapolis. Outfielder Steve Pearce is also a candidate. In 93 games, he is hitting .258 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs. He was 1-for-3 in three games with the Pirates this season. Both are speculative pickups in NL-only leagues, but whichever one is called up becomes an immediate starter.

The Pirates now have a void at closer with Marte gone. The Pirates could go to a closer-by-committee for the remainder of the season or until closer Matt Capps (shoulder) returns to the team. Relief pitcher John Grabow (3.08 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings) likely will get the first crack at the job, but there has been speculation that he too may be traded. Relief pitcher Tyler Yates (4.11 ERA, 35 strikeouts and 34 walks in 50 1/3 innings) could also eventually get a chance to close games. Pick up Grabow in all leagues for now since he'll likely be the first to see save chances. Yates is a good backup plan.

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About Tim Piotrowski

Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.

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