Could Nady bring Harang to the Bronx?


As Mike and I discussed in the podcast, and as Ben stated earlier, we don’t think the Yankees should trade Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher. Yes, it would appear they have more starters than spots, but plenty can happen between now and Opening Day (and beyond). Unless they use that surplus to fill another need, or are blown away by the level of prospects offered, the Yanks would do best to stand pat and see which team has the greatest need come March. For all we know that team could end up being the Yankees themselves.

Still, it’s fun to play mock-GM. As fans we do it every day. Like all faux-trade proposals, take this one with a grain of salt. It’s just a suggestion, and clearly the executives on either or both sides might not think it optimal for their respective club. That doesn’t preclude us from speculating.

One of the teams reportedly interested in Nady is the Cincinnati Reds. This makes sense. Over at Redleg Nation, a superb Reds blog, Chad notes that he would have loved Pat Burrell at two years and $16 million, or even Milton Bradley at three years and $30 million. Instead, they’re “going to be stuck with an outfield of Willy Taveras, Jerry Hairston, Jr., and Jay Bruce.” They also have options in Norris Hopper and Chris Dickerson, but neither looks like a high upside player. Dickerson had a very good 2008, his age 26 season, OPSing .863 at AAA before destroying the majors in 201 at bats (.304/.413/.608). In other words, they could use a left fielder.

Aaron Harang is coming off his worst season since 2004. He pitched to a 4.78 ERA and tossed far fewer innings, 184.1, than he had for the previous three years (211.2, 234.1, 231.2). However, he looks like a good, if not great candidate for a bounceback season. Not just because he had a stellar three years from 2005 through 2007, but because of the way his 2008 unfolded.

On May 25, Dusty Baker (who else?) called on Harang in relief during a marathon game with the Padres. He entered the game in the 13th and pitched four innings, allowing two hits, no runs, one walk, and issuing nine strikeouts. Two problems with this scenario. First, it came just three days after Harang got lit up by the Padres (5.1 IP, 5 ER, 2 HR). Of course, pitching four innings on three days’ rest isn’t that huge a deal. The second problem is that he didn’t have time to prep like a starter would. While the effects didn’t show up that game, they sure did immediately afterward.

His next outing was a four-inning, six-run debacle at home against Pittsburgh. Two starts later, in Florida, he got ripped for eight runs, seven earned, in Florida. In the 10 outings after the relief appearance, Harang tossed 51.2 innings to a 9.06 ERA, with a 1.90 WHIP. That certainly sullied his season. Before that relief sting, he pitched 74.2 innings of 3.50 ERA ball. In his last eight starts of the season, he pitched 54 innings of 2.83 ball. This isn’t to necessarily say that the relief stint caused Harang’s mid-season drop-off, but it’s hard to ignore the circumstances.

Surely the Reds know this, which might make them disinclined to deal the righty when his value is perceived a bit lower than in years past. They also probably won’t want to lose an innings-eating starter, especially considering the rest of their rotation aside from Edinson Volquez. Johnny Cueto could be good, but he’s no sure thing, not at this age. Still, Harang is owed $11 million this year, a $4.25 million raise over last year, plus $12.5 million in 2010 with a $12.75 million team option for 2011 (which becomes a mutual option if traded). Do the Reds want to keep that kind of payroll committed to Harang in his 30s (2009 will be his age-31 season)?

Here’s how a trade would help the Reds. They’d gain the difference between Harang’s and Nady’s contracts, which will be about $5 million, assuming Nady makes $6 million. If they can use that money to help them in another place, then they might consider it. Nady’s salary would come off the books after 2009. Although there’s not much to choose from with the 2010 free agent class, the Reds could use that money to pay Volquez, who could be a Super Two.

If the two sides are, in fact, remotely discussing a Nady swap, I’d assume Walt Jocketty is pushing Arroyo on the Yanks. This, clearly, would be a terrible move. Arroyo is still owed $22.5 million for 2009 and 2010 (counting the $2 million buyout of his 2011 option). No way do the Yanks want any part of this guy.

If Harang is in fact on the table, and for all we know he might be off limits, the Yanks might have to kick something else the Reds way. That, of course, could make or break the deal. Or this deal might not even be under consideration. Who knows. It’s fun to speculate. If we’re going to give up Nady, I’d want it to be for a player like Harang. Well, I’d ideally like it to be for a player like, say, Tim Lincecum, but I’m trying to display a modicum of realistic thought.

Pictured: Harang, his cousin, and my little brother.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Simon B. says:

    Is that really your little brother? He would have to be at least 6’5″ to stand that tall up against 6’7″ Harang.

  2. frank says:

    Harang would be a nice pick up if this deal could materialize. He’s a workhorse and on the Yanks he’d just be another cog in the rotation- no pressure to be the top gun. Plus, I’m sure his numbers would improve solely by being out of that launching pad in Cincy.

  3. steve (different one) says:

    i think on talent alone this would be win for the Yankees, but i’m not sure i’d want to sign up for the rest of Harang’s contract.

    assuming the Yankees have their payroll close to where they want it to be, Harang would eat up the money they save from Damon next year.

    that still leaves Matsui’s $13M, but that’s not enough to fill the holes in the OF.

    if you want to have any sort of payroll flexibility, eventually Hughes has to get into the rotation.

    • JeffG says:

      Swisher would be under contract in RF but your right we’d be lose a lot of flexibility for the day down the road when we have to pay for raises to Joba and Wang or replace Johnny if he can’t perform.
      That said, if you took a guy like Harang on board you’d hope we could trade an arm for a young under control bat.
      But that approach would ultimately lead to a bigger problem – the message it would send to our farm. The kids down below should feel they have some chance to make it up with our team.
      To boot, considering the risk you take on betting that Harang bounces back. Topped by the fact that we would be counting on the same out of Swisher. To me, we’d be expanding on our chances of getting stuck.
      In the end I just think this move would prove to be a reversal of Cashman’s strategy. It would kind of feel like we did last year for nothing.

  4. Virginia Yankee says:

    Send Matsui and one of Nady, Swisher, Cabrerra, Ranson to Giants for
    Full Name: Jonathan O. Sanchez
    Born: 11/19/1982
    Birthplace: Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
    Height: 6′ 2″ Weight: 190
    Bats: Left
    Throws: Left
    College: Ohio Dominican
    MLB Debut: 05/28/2006

  5. andrew says:

    Harang is a horse. He’s been on my fantasy team the last few years and I’ve always known what to expect from him. He’s a very good pitcher. The move from the NL to the AL would be minimzed by the fact that he is leaving a hitters park. However, I don’t think the reds would make the trade for Nady straight up.

  6. GG says:

    Greinke would be great if we could swing him some how

  7. yankeefan91 (sign manny asap hes getting cheaper lol) says:

    i been saying thios for a while we shuld get harang hell be a perfect number 4 statrer he gives u iinnigs and hell pitch very well do it yanks

    • jsbrendog says:

      to speak on your name, apparently boras has him getting more expensive as less people are interested….i will be amazed if scottboras.com can pull this one out of his ass….

    • Evan in NYC says:

      Have you ever heard of punctuation?

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      I find your handle fascinating. You clearly agree with me when I say punctuation is for pussies and abbreviations rule. But I have a question, friendo – If Manny is getting cheaper, should the Yankees sign him ASAP or should they wait and let him continue to get cheaper and sign him later for less money (thus, not ASAP)? If they wait until he gets cheaper is that a good thing because they can pay him less, or is it bad because other teams will be able to afford him, or is it good because then the Yankees can then swoop in and pay more than the future-hypothetical stupidly cheap offers he’ll be getting from others (thus meaning they really could have signed him ASAP and not bothered waiting for him to get cheaper in the first place)? Perhaps you are right and ASAP it is?! Simply fascinating.

  8. AndrewYF says:

    Aren’t the Yankees looking to cut salary by trading Nady? How does acquiring a guy who makes more than Nady accomplish that?

    I love Harang, but he’s an NL pitcher coming off a horrible season. If he sucks, the Yankees are stuck with him for the next 2 years at an untradable salary. The risk is too great, I’d rather have Nady.

    • Evan in NYC says:

      I don’t think the Yankees are looking to cut salary as Nady will only make $6M next year. I think if they are going to trade him they are looking for something like a good IF Utility player of another SP.

      • jsbrendog says:

        to trade nady for a “good IF utility player” would be absolute ABSURDITY

        • to trade nady for a “good IF utility player” would be absolute ABSURDITY

          Speaking of absolute ABSURDITY, jsbrendog, wasn’t it absolutely ABSURD they way I destroyed you in the playoffs of the Inaugural RAB Fantasy Football Championship, which I went on to win handily? I’d certainly say so.

          I mean, sure, you had no runningbacks of note on your roster all season long (due to your tiny brain, pathetically inferior phallic size and putrid personal hygiene leaving you unfit as a fantasy owner (or as a man)), but you recovered nicely by picking up Tashard Choice, and he actually had a great day that week, giving you 21 points with his hard running against a good Ravens team…

          … and you STILL got annihilated by my unquestionably superior team and personal grooming habits. Probably still hurts, doesn’t it?

          I wouldn’t know. I’m a champion.

          [ Fantasy Football Championship Bragging Rights Name Drop #26 of 1000 ]

    • Joseph P. says:

      As I noted in the article, his season wasn’t nearly as bad as the aggregate numbers would indicate.

      Yeah, you’re adding payroll with the move, but you’re also making another starter addition unnecessary. So instead of having $16 million earmarked for Nady and Pettitte, you have $11 earmarked for Harang.

  9. Hank S says:

    I think we should kick the tires with Toronto to see it they would trade Halladay for Nady / Marte / & Ian Kennedy.

  10. A.D. says:

    Right now the Reds staff is:


    With Bailey having his issues, they might want a major league ready starter back in a deal for Harang…so IPK or Aceves, might be able to get the Reds to also toss in someone like Dickerson or similar player

    • whozat says:

      So, Nady + Kennedy for Harang, essentially?

      • GG says:

        I’m not Cash but I’d do it

        • whozat says:

          If they did that, and Harang had a good year, it’d let them trade Wang next offseason. I think they could get a great return, and have Hughes fill in the 5th slot in 2010.


          + a high-upside AA position player. I’d dig it.

          I dunno if the Reds would take that deal, though.

        • andrew says:

          yea, we’re obviously not GM’s or anything, but i think the trade helps both teams. With the emergence of Volquez, Harang becomes a bit more expendable as their #2 starter. The Reds cut some salary while moving Hairston Jr. to the super utility man role where he is better suited. They add some power to their outfield.
          Yankees slide Swisher into the outfield and move Kennedy who wouldn’t have pitched much this year anyway. They only add 5 or so million in salary.


          Hughes fills in when needed.

      • Mike Pop says:

        So, Nady + Kennedy for Harang, essentially?

        I would do this, mainly because the upside Harang has as a starter is better than Nady is as an outfielder. Then IPK has just really fell off and I don’t think he is as much as part of the future as we thought.

  11. hank s cant be serious says:

    can you be serious?

  12. Macphisto says:

    I think there are better options from the Reds if a deal was to be made. They have a good hitting IF, Chris Valaika, who could be a good fit for the Yanks along with one of their arms like Roenicke. That is a deal that would be more interesting in my opinion.

    • whozat says:

      If this Valaika kid is good, you’re not getting him for one season of Nady. He seems to be a power-hitting SS, who might hit for average and won’t walk a lot…if he’s solid defensively, then that’s worth a lot more than one season of Nady.

      • Macphisto says:

        Valaika is good. But he hasn’t shown tremendous power and projects to be more of a 2B than a SS. He is a good, hit for average IFer. With Phillips already at 2B for them and a guy like Frazier already in the system Valaika is expendable. I think it is a fair deal.

  13. jsbrendog says:

    can they swing a trade for a possible future ss?

    • whozat says:

      A future mediocre SS, yeah.

      They’re not going to get anyone closer or with higher upside than Angelini for one year of Nady.

    • Matt says:

      Wait for JJ Hardy to hit the market.

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        Hanley Ramirez’s salary jumps to $11 mil the same year Hardy becomes a FA.

        I’d be more inclined to pursue a trade with the Marlins. Hanley is a year younger and a WHOLE LOT better.

        • Bruno says:

          They just signed him to a longterm deal last year, and he’s the face of the franchise. Not getting traded.
          Plus he sucks defensively. They might be moving him to 3B this season (I haven’t seen this anywhere just my opinion. They traded Jacobs, Cantu’s also a butcher at 3B, and they have a good glove guy for SS in Roger Andino).

    • Water into Funk says:

      Yankees fans need to face reality. Derek is our shortstop. He’s not moving to CF, he’s not moving to 1B, he’s not going to be the 8th inning guy, he’s not waiving his no trade rights so that he can be traded for Adam Everett. He’s our shortstop for as long as he wants to be. There’s no point in trading for a SS prospect because that prospect will be 30 yrs old before he has a shot at taking over. Not saying I disagree with you, but we are four years away from thinking about getting a future SS.

      • Brooklyn Ed says:

        he could be the DH after Posada leaves.

        • andrew says:

          and he would probably be one of the worse dh’s in the league

          • iYankees says:

            Why, because he doesn’t hit home runs? Is that necessary when you have big boppers in A-Rod and Teixeira? I’ll take the guy who can hit in all situations, any day, over the fragile, hulking stereotype that is the DH.

      • Frank says:

        And Angelini will been every bit of that four years and more if the Yanks expect him to play a role in the INF.

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        He’s our shortstop for as long as he wants to be

        His contract expires after the 2010 season. What he is after that is, at least partially, up to Cashman.

  14. Matt says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t think this is a great idea? I don’t know. I’ve been for trading Nady but the more time I take to think about it and get more logical about it, it would just be smarter to keep him and have him platoon the DH role w/Hideki.

    • whozat says:

      I’m generally not in favor of trading Nady. I’d probably rather sign Pettitte for 10MM and keep Xavier. At least for now. But Harang is a very good pitcher, and could allow them to flip Wang next offseason at a very good profit. That’s something that’s hard to ignore, even if it costs them Kennedy too.

      I think there’s no hurry at all to make a deal here. As things shake out more, and spring training takes its toll on some teams, I think better deals will arise. And, it might be the case that the best deal of all is to keep both Nady and Swish.

      • A.D. says:

        They could also just flip Harang if he has a bounce-back season, i get the potential return for Wang scenario, but they could just look to buy low, sell high.

      • Matt says:

        I just don’t like that idea.

      • TLVP says:

        The idea of trading Wang next year only makes sense if you can secure an even better starter. Who’d we get? Peavy? If that was possible why not do it this year already?

        Face who would you rather have Wang or Harang in terms of pure talent? Its pretty obvious isn’t it?

        • whozat says:

          Have you actually looked at them, or are you just going off of a knee-jerk “NL starters are teh suxxorz” reaction?

          Yeah, it is. Harang. Wang wasn’t doing all that hot last year even before he got hurt. I admit, I’m still a bit concerned about his reliance on, essentially, one pitch.

          Harang is a very good pitcher that’s been in an extreme hitter’s park. He’s got multiple good pitches, and also has a very good sinker. He’d probably still be very good in the AL. Also, Joba should be able to go 200 IP in 2010. Hughes should too. So…none of your points make sense. They don’t need to get a Peavy to justify trading Wang. Essentially, they’d be removing Wang, but adding full seasons of Joba and Hughes. Who, I think, will be able to approximate Wang’s production.

          Obviously, it all depends on who stays how healthy, and who produces how well in the next year. The nice thing about this idea, if it could happen, would be that they’d get 2009 to see both pitchers pitching on the Yanks. Then they could gauge the potential return for each versus the potential loss and decide accordingly.

          • Jeff in LA says:

            Brown, Chacon, Johnson, Pavano, Vazquez, Wright…

            NL starters are teh suxxorz

            • steve (different one) says:

              really, Randy Johnson?

              • Jeff in LA says:

                In absolute terms no, relative to expectations absolutely. The guy was brought in to be the ace and by year two was below league average.

                In keeping with the theme that NL Starters perform poorly for NYY

                Year TM LG ERA+ WHIP
                2000 ARI NL 181 1.118 Cy Young
                2001 ARI NL 188 1.009 Cy Young
                2002 ARI NL 197 1.031 Cy Young
                2003 ARI NL 110 1.333 Injured
                2004 ARI NL 177 0.900 2nd in Cy Young
                2005 NYY AL 112 1.126
                2006 NYY AL 90 1.239

                P.S. Post season for NYY: 13 Innings, 20 hits, 10 ER, teh suxxorz!!!

  15. Frank says:

    I don’t want to trade Nady OR Swisher. I like the flexability of the OF as it is. Plus I don’t know how anyone can be completely sold on Nady having anything close to the year he had last season. And you can’t just expect Swisher to bounce back and have a more representative year. I like having both of them as insurance for the other offensively. The Yanks badly need offensive production from their OF.

    Plus, I believe the Yankes have plenty of options to round out the pitching staff that don’t include Sidney Ponson. I’m more than comfortable with Kennedy starting out fresh and making a few starts if need be. Then there’s always Aceves and you can have Coke make a few starts and easily be replaced by Melancon should need be. Not to mention the Pettitte situation has yet to be decided.

    I like the Yankees exactly as is.

    • iYankees says:

      People need to understand that Swisher didn’t have a very “normal” year. He was traded to another team, living in another city, was hitting leadoff for most of the season (or at least most of the first half) and was playing CF (a position he was not comfortable with). Basically, he was in a situation where everything was different. Ballplayers are creatures of habit and it hurt Swisher, who was then relegated to the bench after Paul Konerko got hot and Jr. came on board. I think it’s very reasonable to expect a bounce-back year if the player is given a chance to succeed in a familiar, rather than new, situation.

  16. DP says:

    It’s amazing how long it takes yankees.com to report things.

  17. Matt12 says:

    I still think that unless one of these guys is traded for prospects that can then be flipped in a deal with some of our prospects for an Ian Kinsler (move Kinsler to SS, move Jeter to CF) or a Grady Sizemore, we should hang onto Swisher and/or Nady.

    I was thinking Swisher and Nady to San Francisco for Jonathan Sanchez and a prospect or two, trade them with Austin Jackson and one or two of our pitchers (Betances, McAllister, Heredia, Kennedy) for either Kinsler or Sizemore.

    But Swisher can player first base, left field, and right field quite well. In fact, with his athleticism, I’d wager he could hold his own backing up A-Rod at third base from time to time with Tony Pena’s help and some commitment from Swisher. He can also backup Matsui as the DH. That makes him pretty darn valuable in my book. And it’s not like his bat is too shabby.

    So my personal vote is that Gardner and Melky platoon in center field (assuming we don’t get one of my dream trades done), with Johnny in left field (where he isn’t as bad as people make him out to be) and Nady playing about 75% of the time in right field and Swisher picking up the other 25% of the time.

  18. Brooklyn Ed says:

    Plans are for the new Yankee Stadium to have a Sony HD broadcast control room; more than 550 flat-panel BRAVIA and professional LCD HD television sets in the luxury suites, lounges, concourses, restaurants and administrative offices; plus Sony HD branding elements featured prominently throughout the stadium.

    In addition, Sony PlayStation 3 entertainment systems and VAIO notebook computers will be available to fans in select locations throughout the Stadium.



    a game room in Yankee Stadium? that’s so freaking awesome!

  19. KO says:

    Now that the Yankees have added Teixeira, Nady’s righty bat is no longer critical, but the Yankees still seem to have a lot more pitching than outfielders who can hit, so why create a potential weakness to fortify a strength?

  20. kunaldo says:

    Looking at his peripherals, they all look really good…great K/9, BB/9, WHIP…not really a good HR/9, but it IS a hitters ballpark(for a 4th starter, whatever), obviously he eats innings….and his previous 3 seasons before Baker messed w/ him he had 3.67, 3.68, 3.71FIP in 05, 06, 07, respectively…I think I’d def do Nady + IPK for Harang(as posted earlier in the comments)

  21. A.D. says:

    Per MLBTR link

    Its from a SF paper, so definitely take it with a grain of salt, but Schulman claims Cash wants to trade Nady

    I’ve been told by a good source that Yankees GM Brian Cashman wants to keep Swisher to replace Bobby Abreu in right field and deal Nady, who becomes a free agent after the 2009 season.


  22. Rob says:

    Most similar pitchers:

    1. Carl Pavano (972)
    2. Bronson Arroyo (972)
    3. Kris Benson (967)
    4. Brett Myers (965)


  23. iYankees says:

    I’d do Nady and IPK for Harang, assuming the Yankees pick up his option for 2011.

  24. [...] Trading Nady January 8, 2009, 6:17 pm From Henry Schulman (via MLBTR): Some speculation has arisen that the Giants might find a first baseman in New York, either Nick [...]

  25. mustang says:

    From what I read above the idea being toss around is Nady and IPK for Harang. That seems fair for both sides my only problem with it is that your blocking a rotation spot for Hughes at least to 2011. I guess someone can get hurt, but still.
    That’s one of the nice things about Andy after this year they just give his spot to Hughes.

    • whozat says:

      That’s why I followed it up by offering up the idea that, if Joba and Hughes both put in full, healthy, effective seasons (in the bigs and AAA/MLB respectively) the Yanks can look to move Wang for a big return. Or, just flip Harang again.

  26. cuponoodles says:

    Not to be off topic, but the thought of trading C.M. Wang is the most ludicrous idea ever. CMW forever!

  27. bicsharpie says:

    I thought we all agreed with my sexy, sexy brain that Bailey for Nady is the proper trade to make with Cincy.

  28. gio says:

    Why do you all have such huge boners for Harang? Maybe I’m missing something, but he just seems like a grossly overpaid NL stater. If the Yankees are willing to pay his contract, why not just sign Pettitte and pick up a low-cost a 7th/8th inning guy for Nady? I’m all for trading Nady. He has one of the longest swings ever. It seems like his swinging for the fences every at-bat. Maybe he’s just used to being the clean up guy on most of thet teams he’s played for and hasn’t realized he’s hitting BEHIND guys like ARod and Teixeira. But whatever it is, it’s turned himinto an all-or-nothing guy on the Yanks.

  29. [...] past week I discussed a favorable trade scenario for Xavier Nady. The caveat, of course, being that it’s favorable to the Yanks. Surely the Reds would want a [...]

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