Midnight in the garden of good and Nady

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Daniel Cabrera takes out Melky

The Xavier Nady rumors, it seems, never end.

On Thursday, I noted that the Yanks are listening to offers for Nady, and Joe talked about trading Nady for Aaron Harang. On Wednesday, the rumor du jour concerned Randy Winn. While a little over a week 55 percent of RAB voters said don’t trade Nady, his name just keeps on popping up in trade rumors.

Today, we have both the Giants and Pirates involved in various talks over Xavier Nady. The first story comes to us via The Splash, Henry Schulman’s San Francisco Chronicle-hosted Giants blog. He writes, “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.”

Schulman goes on to speculate that the Giants could be interested. However, he’s just guessing and has no further information concerning the team’s interest.

Meanwhile, the Pirates seem to be talking Nady and Swisher with the Yanks. Dejan Kovacevic reports:

The Pirates have had trade talks with the New York Yankees regarding outfielders Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady, one high-level source said today, but there is little cause to expect a deal involving either coming to Pittsburgh.

In Swisher’s case, he is owed $22 million the next three years and is coming off a down season in which he batted .219 with 24 home runs and 69 RBIs. Moreover, the Yankees are seeking pitching, the Pirates’ most precious commodity, so the match is poor. The source described the chance of a Swisher deal being done as “a long shot.”

A Nady deal is seen as even less likely, and the talks on that front have been no more than cursory. The primary reason is that the Yankees never could get back as much as they gave up for Nady and reliever Damaso Marte in the teams’ July 26 trade — outfield prospect Jose Tabata and starters pitchers Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf and Daniel McCutchen — and that could make for an awkward set of circumstances.

So we have some conflicting information, and some sense of what the Yankees are expecting. It’s worth noting that the Kovacevic is the latter of the two. Perhaps the Yanks are willing to listen on Swisher even if they would rather keep them. A Front Office conducting its due diligence would be better served hearing everything another GM has to say about any player.

Meanwhile, I’m not sure I agree with Kovacevic. If the Yanks are, as Schulman says, so keen on moving Nady, they may view him as the lesser of the two pieces from last summer’s trade. They seem to recognize that Nady had something of a career year last year, and Brian Cashman, in looking to move Nady, seems to be betting on the belief that Nady won’t duplicate his 2008 number. He wants a decent package for Nady and needs to replace some of the parts they sent to Pittsburgh last year. It is unreasonable to expect to get a full return though.

Either way, these talks were very cursory, and at the risk of sounding like a broken RAB record, I still predict Nady to be with the team come April.

Spring Training tickets on sale at 10 a.m.
Daniel Cabrera takes out Melky
  • A.D.

    As I wrote before on SF article I’d say take it with a grain of salt, we’ve seen plenty of times that beat writers, especially non NY ones have been pretty off the mark on things.

    I find it interesting that the Yankees want pitching. I could see trying for Harang, or other good rotation guys that will more than adequately fill the #4 hole. But I’d think they actually want positional prospects, specifically outfielders.

    Nady for Tabata straight up??

    • Ricky

      Thats what I was thinking….Nady for Tabata would be awesome for me. And if they want Swish but cant afford him, how about Swish+cash for Tabata and maybe someone else also.

      But wont it be weird getting Tabata back? I mean, from the way it sounded like when they traded him, the Yanks had kind of given up on him as a person, though he could still probably play well. So, having Tabata back in the Yanks system would create an awkward and maybe uncomfortable situation for him.

      • A.D.

        It would be a true rental if they could do that, but from the words of Pitt when they made the trade, they were pumped to get Tabata, and I don’t see them letting him go.

        • Ricky

          yea, neither do I. He helped their farm system get better as he’s the #3 best prospect in their farm. He obviously has a lot of talent.

          Btw, what I found interesting was how Daniel McCutchen is #5 for them while he probably would not have been so high for us.

          • Mike Pop

            There is no way they give us Tabata for him. They won’t contend for next year. It would just be a bad rental. I don’t beleive any of this.

      • cackle7

        Are you nuts? Tabata is a prospect at that. He has no power and was hyped.

  • robert skollar

    Keep these guys!!!

    Guaranteed you will need both…
    At worst Swisher can be a swingman giving Damon, Nady, Cabrera , Tex, Matsui an occasional day off.

    This is what Torre did so well…finding playing time for lots of talented guys.
    Also like Joe I…Joe II can go with the hot hand.

    How nice would it be to have one of these guys on the bench as opposed to Wilson Beta-mint??

    Keep ’em Cash!

    • Ricky

      I like this too…who knows if Nady can hit well again? and who knows if Swish will rebound?…so it would help us for depth if we keep them. I kinda wished that if we wanted to trade either one, we should have done so earlier so we could have signed Baldelli to help us AND keep him away from the Sox.

    • Emily

      Agreed. I think there is plenty of options and there would be backup in case of injury. I really like the prospects with Nady and think he gave the team a boost when he came in the trade last yr. I think he could be valuable even if just this yr. to work for that 27th Championship and have that extra hitting. He’s a good player and who really wants to count Cabrera and Gardner as extra outfields? There’s the DH and I can’t say I’d like to have both weak links with those two.

  • bicsharpie

    Trading Nady to the pirates and the giants makes about as much sense as a bear ballet. Trading Nady for some young pitching makes my hat all the more comfortable.

  • http://twitter.com/OldRanger Old Ranger

    I had the same thought as some of you, trade Nady for Jose Tabata. Then I checked out the depth chart for Pitt. No way are they going to do that move.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I am so glad you’re on Twitter now. Something about that just tickles me. I don’t know why.

      • Brooklyn Ed

        hmm what’s Twitter?

  • BJ

    Yeah, what would be considered a fair deal for nady to the pirates. Tabata seemed to have raked for the pirates at GCL (4 games) and then AA (22 games), so I am not sure how open they are to trading him, and if his returning to form is dependent on the change of scenery. Though his BB:K was his standard 1:2, he was .348/.402/.562 over 89 AB in AA for Pit and had a ridiculous 1.629 OPS for his 4 game stint at GCL. Still, I would think Nady would be more than enough, the question is more would Tabata be making headlines in a negative way.

  • J.R.

    I think this is a case of their GM doing due diligence and kicking the tires.

    Interesting but Tabata makes alot more sense for the Pirates than Nady or Swisher. Young and cost controlled for cheap owners, also for a team a while away from competing.

    Vrs. a guy with $22 mill over three years or a $6 mill year rental then free agent guarantee.

    No way either deal happens to the Pirates.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    There’s pretty much a 0 percent chance that the Pirates would trade Tabata back to the Yanks for only Nady. It’s not really something we should be discussing with any belief that it could happen.

    • K.B.D.

      Seriously, what are people thinking…

      Nady for McCutcheon, Andrew. And the Pirates should throw in some money. GET IT DONE CASH!

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        Nady for Pujols. We’ll throw in Melky and IPK too.

        • K.B.D.

          God, this just reminds me of the old EA Sports MVP games where you could force the computer to work trades with you. It was ridiculous: Tanyon Sturtze for Randy Johnson. Kevin Thompson for Vlad Guerrero. Oh the memories…

    • Mike Pop

      For Tabata, maybe if we throw in IPK,, hehe

  • Infamous

    I’m stuck on trading Nady or not. It seems like Swisher is more for the Yankees future plans. If he is regulated to the bench this year and has sporatic playing time I think he will have the same year he had with the White Sox and be unhappy. On the other hand, I dont think we should just get rid of Nady for cheap. Also since we do not know how Matsui will respond from his numerous knee problems its hard to trade one of Swisher/Nady. IMO, the best case scenario is that be trade Matsui for some B-Level prospects and eat some of his salary.

  • Phil McCracken

    I don’t see the benefit in trading Nady or Swisher. Both are fairly reasonable in term of salary for 2009.

    Why not just play the hot hand out of Nady, Matsui, Damon, and Swisher? Worst case scenario is you have a 5-6M bench player in Nady. Which isn’t the end of the world.

    The draft picks for 2010 that Nady will fetch will be more valuable than anything you can get now considering Adam Dunn can’t get anyone to even offer him any type of a deal right now.

  • Phil McCracken

    I’m sure this will trigger Francesa to talk about Nate McLouth again.

    • K.B.D.

      I hear he has a certain affection for McLouth, some might even say, he “likes” Nate.

    • Mike Pop

      “I’d ship Hughes, Jackson, Kennedy, and 10 million for this guy if I had too. Then I would sign Derek Lowe and put Joba back in the pen because that’s where he belongs.”

      Ugh, Francesca… Come on man

      • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

        Did he really say that?

        • Ivan

          I wouldn’t put it pass him.

        • Mike Pop

          Not the 10 mill part but the rest yes. He was talking with Sweeney Murti during the Winter Meetings or right before they started. It’s not word for word but that is what he said.

          • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

            Throw in the fact that McLouth is a 1 year wonder and was the worst fielding CF in Baseball last year. Scouts familiar with him and the Pirates said that he’s really a corner OF who was playing CF out of necessity.

            • TurnTwo

              francesca doesnt care about you so-called “stats” and “reasearch”.

              he saw him play a couple games against the Yankees in June, and thats all he needs to recognize greatness.

              • jsbrendog

                gee where have i heard that before?

  • K.B.D.

    I don’t see the need in trading Swish or Nady, but I think Damon can’t cut it in center anymore, so its either Gardner or Melky (as sad as that is). I’m rather sure Cashman has said Swish isn’t playing centerfield, so thats not happening. I’d choose Swish over Nady in right, personally, just because of Swish’s plate discipline. Gardner or Melky as a 4th outfielder is fine (depending on who starts in CF), but Swish would be wasted on the bench, in my opinion.

    I think Cash is just biding time until somebody gets desperate for an outfielder and is willing to overpay. Theres no need for him to rush a trade, as they could easily go into next season the way the roster is now. Let’s wait for other people to bite.

    • Infamous

      Exactly. The Yankees are in the drivers seat. At 6 million Nady is economical for every team in the league.

      • Mike Pop

        The problem is he just is not that good and does not make teams want to give up “top” talent for him.

        • Klemy

          And if he were, we wouldn’t be shopping him!

        • TurnTwo

          this is just a false statement though.

          he is a good everyday player. not a great player, but a solid regular.

          you arent getting a blue chipper for him alone, but you can get a couple of potential useful pieces if you were to move him.

      • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        And the Yanks have made it clear they aren’t “looking to trade” Nady/Swisher, but they’re listening to offers. That seems to get lost in the rumor mill. If they get an offer they can’t pass up, they’ll take it.

        • TurnTwo


  • JeffG

    If it is just a salary dump then you never want to see any player go. However, if Cashman can spin one of these guys into something more useful I’d be all for it.
    My guess is that if we traded with the Pirates it would mean they are part of a three way deal. They wouldn’t take on the contract we want to shed as we got Nady because of them wanting to shed that money and build cheap. I’m sure most of us wish we could get Tabata back but that trade works better for them as it went down – right? Seems obvious to me.
    So if any of this speculation were true you’d have to think we might have a partner that will take on Nady but won’t be able to return a piece that we need. Who might have an excess IF help? Could Paul Maholm be had? Say we dish off Kennedy and pieces as well, what would that haul back? Just way to hard to predict what might work, but at the same time I’m sure something could.

    • DreDog

      Unfortunately, I also think they got the better end of the deal. I liked the deal at the time. I like the idea of Nady and Marte and making room for pitchers with higher talent in the minors. I also liked dealing Tabata and his ‘tude, but we may have been able to get a decent arm or a an above average CF with him in the package this offseason.

      I think for Cash it came down to needing one OF prospect to enter the varsity squad in the next few years, and he went with AJax. I mean Ajax is a CF and Tabata projects at a corner spot. He probably didn’t figure the market would be overrun with corner outfielders in the offseason. Oh, and we needed someone badly. We weren’t going on a playoff run with Justin Christian starting. Like the kid, but it’s the truth.

      I still like the deal if:
      1) We can keep Nady beyond 2009 with a reasonable salary (tough with Boras).
      2) Hope he is a Typa A Free Agent and pray he signs with a team that has a second half first round pick. Hope they don’t sign another Type A. Then get lucky in the draft with a high schooler.

      A deal like this will never truly be revealed for its true value for years. Think of it this way, we made one extra space on the 40-man Roster with that trade. We had a the most players taken in the Rule 5 Draft too.

      • JeffG

        Yup – I think there is a trade-off when you need to make a push for the playoffs. Hindsight shows that it didn’t work out but at the time it was a reasonable effort.

  • X-Man(Angel)

    Trade Matsui!!!

  • X-Man(Angel)

    **Breaking news**

    Melky has been hit in the elbow by a 96mph by Daniel Cabrera, Melky out of the game

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      What are you talking about?

      • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

        In tonight’s Dominican Winter League game between Aguilas and Licey, Melky Cabrera got plunked by Daniel Cabrera in the fourth inning and was taken out of the game.


        HBP: Cabrera (by Cabrera, D)…

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          Yeah, I know someone that watched the game on ESPN Deportes. Apparently Melky was pissed, threw his helmet down and everything.

          • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

            I would be too. Hell, you’ve played baseball before, you know how fucking aggravating it is getting hit by a guy who has a reputation of doing such – whether it be because of control issues or not.

    • JeffG

      Any decent player shouldn’t face that dude in winterball. Major liability.

      It strikes me as funny that he is playing in the NL now. I hope some team gets fed up with his shit and takes him out.

      • jsbrendog

        oooo good point. i give it 1/4 the season.

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    Heh, why the hell is MLB Network sending an on-scene reporter to cover the one-year deals for John Smoltz and Rocco Baldelli? [Especially since it looks like she’s freezing her ass off.]

    • Mike Pop

      They are the best signings of the offseason so fahr!

      • Klemy

        Says Peter Gammons!

        • The Evil Empire

          Is he really that much of a sux fan?

          • JeffG

            Are you kidding? – the guy is a joke. He should do his reporting next year wearing a Pedrioa uni – no need for a suit.

            All the more reason not to watch ESPN – MLB Network is so much better!

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  • YankFanDave

    These recurring reports of the Yanks interest in trading Nady or Swisher are starting to worry me. While the Red Sox are quietly adding depth and flexibility (signing of Rocco Baldelli and Sean McAdam and Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reporting “Mark Kotsay … has agreed in principle on a one-year deal to return to the club.”); the Yanks may want to remake themselves into a benchless team with no depth or flexibility once again. What worries me is the bench has consistently been a blind spot for Cashman. Each year he says he will improve it and each year he constructs a team with no bench. The Yank teams with a decent bench were more the owners doing in bringing in Strawberry and others than Cash’s. I just don”t get it. Nady in RF and Swisher getting plenty of playing time at 1B, OF and DH gives the Yanks an element they have lacked for years. Add in the health issues of Matsui, Damon and Posada, doesn’t that call for some insurance and depth. As I recall, the Yanks got Nady due to injury and a need for offensive help. Unless they are going o get a young CF or a super utility type trading Nady or Swisher is a puzzle to me.

    • Rob in CT

      Actually, last season he made a pretty good effort at constructing a bench, I thought. It just didn’t work. A coupla guys that looked like good ideas fell on their faces.

      Having said that, I too want to keep Nady and Swisher unless the talent coming back is special.

    • MattG

      Nady can’t help if Cano goes on the DL.

      The Yankees have one two many OFs. They need a super U type to have a good bench. Pinch hitting/pinch running should not be their concern. Having a player that can start for 2-5 games at a stretch while someone nurses a twinge in their hamstring should. Matsui can do that in a corner. Damon or Swisher can do that in CF.

      I am glossing over Ransom, of course. He could do that in the INF, but not if one of Rod/Jet/Can are already out.

      I’m just saying that with a 4 man bench, I don’t want two guys who are OF only. Even Eric Hinske would make more sense for this roster than Nady.

  • Januz

    There is another possibility that has not been discussed………………. Bobby Abreu. If you can trade Nady, and he would be willing to do a 1 year contract, say at $8m, you could put him back in right field, and have Swisher as a super sub, playing 4 or more times a week. A lineup of Damon, Jeter, Teixeira, Rodriguez, Matsui, Abreu, Posada, Cano, and Gardner creates headaches for opposing managers.
    I admit it is a long-shot but the longer he is unsigned, the more realistic it becomes. Keep in mind, Abreu has a smaller signing window than most of the unsigned players (He is going to play for Venezuela in the WBC, and he can’t risk an injury that would hurt is bargaining power even more).

    • TurnTwo

      Abreu’s ship has sailed.

    • Rob in CT

      I was pondering Abreu too… his stock is waaaay down. Yeah, he’s bad defensively (though I have to wonder whether he’s due to “regress” a bit and actually be slightly better this season), but he’s still an excellent, patient hitter and a pretty good baserunner.

  • AD

    Please God Trade Matsui…. why … why would you get rid of a versatile player like nady… we don’t need Matsui… why cant anyone see that.

  • V

    Matsui has NO trade value. Teams won’t pay his salary for a guy with bum knees when they can likely pay the same (or less) for Dunn.

    He also has a no trade clause. He also brings in ad revenue from Japan.

    Matsui will not be traded.

  • http://twitter.com/OldRanger Old Ranger

    Matsui is the best DH we have…he’ll hit about .300/OBP .380/30 HRs’/100 RBIs’. Who else can do that. Not Nady or Swisher.

    • AD

      Matsui is OVER RATED – Johnny Damon would be our best DH – No way Matsui stays healthy enough for those numbers… his godzilla years are loooooooong gone… we should have traded him to the giants when we had the chance last year… now he is just dead weight.

  • bottom line

    Yankees should be adding to bench, not depleting it. I want to know who exactly backs up Jeter now if he goes down. How about A-Rod? How bout Cano?

    They Yankees have not had a quality infield back-up since Sojo. Someone who can field three positions, handle the bat, bunt, hit and run.

    • Dwnflfan

      I love the halo effect that being on championship teams create for players. Luis Sojo was a very marginal utility man who, as a fielder, was good at 2B, could handle 3B and was pretty poor at SS by the time he became a Yankee at 31, (wink, wink).

      Luis Sojo had a career OPS+ of 71! That’s just awful. Never in his career did he have a year or even a short stint with a team where he had an OPS+ of over 94. The man could not hit but he did have a couple useful years for the Yanks thanks to a couple of fluke performance at the plate. Ransom is twice the player Sojo was and handled short just fine last year. Range factor wise just as well or better than Sojo did while with the Yanks. Per PA Ransom was 2 1/2 times more valuable last year than Sojo was over his Yankee career, (WARP). I know, sample size, but Sojo was never provided as much value in any of his years or partial years with the Yanks.

      IMO a guy like Sojo should be on the Yanks only when they are desperate. The Yankee payroll should allow them to pay players who could start on some teams to sit on the Yankee bench.

  • KO

    If you are going to get rid of either Swisher or Nady (I’d keep them both), get rid of Swisher. Nady had a career year last year, but he’s on the upswing and looked good playing for the Yankees. Swisher, meanwhile, is on the decline. He walks a lot, but once pitchers figure out that he can’t hit it even when they throw it over the plate, those numbers should go down, as well.

  • viridiana

    I love it when people bring up OPS, like its some sort of infallible tool. Yes, better than all the old metrics, better than what socuts see, better than all the plays that are not reflected in this brute tribute to walks and HRs.

    Sojo, like many others, was a player that vcan not be judged by OPS, Not only did he do all the little things, he did them so well he sometimes seemed lucky. But he could handle three positions adeptly and he could put his bat on the ball — the closest the Yanks have come to him since is Cairo– but he was sub-par at third. Instead, they look for lead-legged guys with doughnot hole bats who once in a while hit the long ball. That is an awful recipe for an infield back-up,

    OPs is an incredibly overrated stat cited by people woith little or no feel for the game. It equates walks with hits, ignores strikeouts and discounts speed– it also says nothing about advancing runners. In short, it’s a great tool for people who need a computer print-out to explain a game that is far too subtle to be so capsulized.