As July approaches, the pace of rumors about potential trades will increase. A lot of what we hear and read is simply noise, and as we have in the past, we’re not going to reproduce every single rumor involving the Yanks. What we will do is highlight the ones from reliable sources that carry some newsworthiness. Sometimes, we’ll highlight rumors of what the Yanks don’t plan to do as well.
Today, we have one of the latter stories, this one from Buster Olney. In his Saturday blog post, Olney dropped in a “heard this” note about the Yanks’ July plans:
The Yankees are unlikely to trade Nick Swisher or Xavier Nady after Nady returns — probably in the first week of July — because of the other needs of their club, and because it’s unlikely they would get anything close to full value for Nady if they put him on the market, in light of his elbow injury. The Yankees had discussions with other teams about Nady during the offseason, after signing Mark Teixeira.
This is an interesting item because, honestly, it doesn’t make too much sense. Getting Xavier Nady will do wonders for the Yanks’ depth, but is he really that integral a piece that they need to hold onto him? I don’t think so.
When Nady returns in a week or two, the Yankees will have a very deep team. They can jettison Angel Berroa or option Ramiro Peña back to the minors. Either way, depending upon the lineup, they’ll have a decent backup catcher, Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera, Berroa or Peña or Cody Ransom and Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher. Most teams would kill for that depth.
One of the benefits though of depth is recognizing when to use it to fill in parts. The Yankees may not, as Olney reports, be able to get “full value” for Nady, but that’s a rather amorphous concept right now. Nady is set to be a free agent at the end of the season, and if the Yankees don’t trade him now, they won’t get anything from him. They aren’t likely to offer him arbitration. In a weak economy, corner outfielders tend to suffer, and Nady would likely accept arbitration. Meanwhile, the Yankees aren’t keen on signing 31-year-old outfielders to multi-year contracts right now.
Trading Nady this July, if he comes back and proves himself healthy, makes good sense. If they can get a piece they need — a reliever, perhaps, to solidify the bullpen — I wouldn’t be opposed to moving Nady. Right now, in fact, that might very well be where his value lies.