Open Thread: You say tomato, I say Tabata


Prospect season is in full swing these days, and Baseball America is in the middle of posting their top ten prospects for each team. The Yankees list won’t be released until December 18th, but the Pirates’ list came out today, and old pal Jose Tabata checked in at number two behind Washington Heights’ own Pedro Alvarez.

You probably all remember Tabata as the talented, yet troubled outfielder that would tantalize you with his natural ability but frustrate you with his childishness. The Yanks shipped him to Pittsburgh in the Xavier Nady-Damaso Marte trade after having to suspend him twice for insubordination, and the now 21-year-old has enjoyed a bit of prospect rebirth with the Pirates. He hit .293-.357-406 between Double- and Triple-A in 2009, easily his best season since playing with Low-A Charleston back in 2006.

It’s all too easy to look back and judge trades in hindsight. Heck, the evaluation of Tabata trade has been a roller coaster since it was made. When it was made, everyone love it and called it a steal. When Tabata and Ross Ohlendorf were doing well for the Pirates while Nady and Marte went down with injuries, it was an awful move. When Marte turned Chase Utley and Ryan Howard into Corey Patterson and Yuniesky Betancourt en route to the World Series, it was pure genius. It doesn’t require any brainpower to judge a move in hindsight, nor is it an accurate way to do things.

The reality is that it was a move the team had to make and a move Tabata needed. The Yanks were just two games out of a playoff spot at the time of the trade, and adding an everyday outfielder enjoying a career year plus an accomplished lefty reliever made all the sense in the world. Meanwhile, it’s clear that Tabata was frustrated by the season he was having in 2008 (.248-.320-.310 before the trade), pulling himself from a game and leaving the park (suspension #1), then slamming his bat at the plate and showing up an umpire after looking at strike three (suspension #2). I can’t see Tabata making that kind of turnaround with the Yanks. He needed a change of scenery, and in the end it worked out for both parties.

Anyway, that’s my evening rant. Use this as your open thread for the night. The Knicks are in LA taking on the Lakers, while the Nets’ drive for 0-82 will continue out in Denver. Anything goes, just don’t be a jerk.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Esteban says:

    I’m still basking in 27.

  2. JM says:

    This trade makes even more sense now after seeing that Tabata had a slugging percentage WORSE than his OBP.I feel like that is something that’s really hard to do.

  3. Here’s my two cents as to why trading Tabata for Nady and Marte* was a good move:

    Nady and Marte played well, when healthy. The primary thing driving down their value was not poor play, it was injury. Had they stunk, that would be one thing; but they both played above average with stretches of excellence. We got good play at both RF/LF and at RP from the two of them. Good enough to be more worthwhile than what Tabata would probably be able to give us by 2011 (when he’s finally MLB-ready.)

    Had they failed, the trade could be judged in hindsight as a loss for us, because we traded a good young prospect for two subpar players. But we didn’t; we traded a good prospect for two GOOD players who just got unfortunately injured. And those injuries were unpredictable; neither of them had injury red flags pre-trade.

    Hard to knock the trade for Nady blowing his arm out on a freak throw and Marte being nicked up by the WBC.



    * Yes, I left out Ohlendorf, Karstens, and McCutchen. They’re irrelevant. They were fringy, surplus arms that we probably would have non-tendered or DFA’d at some point by now due to our numbers crunch and their lower ceilings as prospects. The trade is, for all intents and purposes, a 2 for 1. Tabata is the only guy we truly valued; the rest are flotsam and jetsam.

  4. JM says:

    Does this make any sense? In MLB 09: The Show, I made a Road To The Show player and he is in AA. It’s June now and his stats are like this:
    about 210 ABs
    .450 AVG
    .467 OBP (I am too impatient to take so many pitches)
    .673 SLG
    1 HR (Inside-the-park, too. His Power rating is 23)
    25 Doubles
    10 Triples

    WHY WON’T THE WHITE SOX CALL HIM UP? All I get are these messages like “You are good enough, just wait and your time will come” and other stuff like that. AA is getting really, really, really boring. By the way, I know you all care about a fictional baseball player in AA. They made it real hard to get to the Major in this game.

  5. Salty Buggah says:

    Is Eladio Moronta any good?

  6. JobaJr says:

    OK. Since this was deleted in the other thread…

    Is it out of the question to make a trade for Miguel Cabrera as the Tigers have put him on the market, and plug him in Left? He played LF for a few years back in his Marlins days.

  7. Salty Buggah says:

    According to Damon’s wife, 3 interested teams have called for him.

  8. The Artist says:

    Mike, any info on that DR kid we just signed?

  9. Doing a live chat on the blog at 7.30 PM. Come and join us here if you’re bored:


  10. Salty Buggah says:

    “A New York Yankees official downplayed the suggestion that the team had a serious interest in White Sox free-agent slugger Jermaine Dye, according to Tuesday’s editions of the New York Post.”

    I dont really want Dye, does anyone?

  11. Steve H says:

    I want to stay 100000 miles from Figgins this offseason. That being said, does anyone think he has truly transitioned into an on-base machine? I’m trying to think of similar guys that developed into on-base guys into their 30′s, the only one I can think of with a similar skill set was Tony Phillips, who was a beast once he got to Detroit at 31.

  12. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    I’m reposting this. Since nobody responded to this yesterday, I’ll assume nobody clicked the link.

    Click the link. You will NOT be disappointed, I promise you.

    Come on, click it. You know you want to.

  13. Lanny says:

    The Tabata trade worked out since Marte played a significant role in helping win a title.

    All the pitchers were basically filler. Tabata could be a 10 yr all star and its still a good move with what Marte did in the ALCS and WS. Luckily it wasnt based on his regular season which was awful.

  14. Riddering says:

    Charlie Silvera on Casey Stengel:

    “He kept platooning, which caused the guys being platooned to play even harder when they got into the lineup. They’d say, “I’ll show that crooked-legged old bastard.’ That was fine with Casey. He wanted to win. And win today. None of that wait-till-next-year stuff. That was Brooklyn. None of that we’ll-get-’em-tomorrow. You were a Yankee. You got ‘em today.

    I love the Yankee way.

  15. 85,800 words and counting!

    I’m now ten pages from 320, which would equal the most I’ve ever written.

    So fucking cool.

  16. Thanksgiving weekend:

    Florida State @ #1 Florida
    #2 Alabama @ Auburn
    #3 Texas @ Texas A&M

    Who gets upset? Anyone?

  17. Keanu Reeves says:

    So, I’m at a basketball game a few hours ago, selling raffle tickets for the baseball team and our trip to Florida. I start talking to this guy who’s from New Jersey. When he finds out I’m a baseball player and that I like the Yankees, he starts telling me about a kid his son played with in high school who got drafted by the Yanks. He kept going on about the 400 ft home runs and what a great kid he was. I asked him what the name was: none other than Eric Duncan.

    Not a great story, but I thought it was cool. Possibly even RAB worthy.

  18. Mike44 says:

    If you are ever having a bad day, I recommend watching Damaso Marte in the World Series absolutely own Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

    I don’t care if Jose Tabata wins an MVP, that trade was worth it for what Marte did in the WS vs. arguably the two best left-handed hitters in the National League.

  19. Reggie C. says:

    Pedro Alvarez is my pick for 2010 NL ROY.

    Horace Mann baby!

  20. Reggie C. says:

    So did a real ND fan actually give Jimmy Clausen a shiner the other night?? I thought it was some rogue BC fan.

    Anyways, is Clausen #1 pick material?

    • #1? Probably not. But he’s top 10 material.

      QB’s get overinflated, though, so every top 10 QB is kinda #1 material by default. It’s definitely Clausen and Locker in the dogfight for top QB on the board.

      And, of all the uber-shitty teams who are locks for the top ten, most of them need QB’s, so yeah, he’s in the mix.

      The Shitty Top Nine:
      Browns – yup
      Rams – yup
      Buccaneers – No, since they took Freeman
      Lions – No, since they took Stafford
      Bills – yup
      Raiders – yup
      Seahawks – yup
      Redskins – yup
      Chiefs – No, they’re locked into Cassel

      Plus, Frisco and Carolina are two of the 4-6 teams who could take a QB as well. If Bradford comes back healthy for the Combine, and McCoy has a good pro day, you could have 4 QB’s in the top 15 picks.

      • Reggie C. says:

        Why can’t Brady Quinn finish on a decent note? Quinn is at least as good as Sanchez right now. The Browns are not going QB shopping. They need to get a dynamic RB who can make plays out in the flat to lighten the load.

        • Why can’t Brady Quinn finish on a decent note?

          He can. Doesn’t mean they wouldn’t pull the trigger on a new QB even if he does, though. The other thing complicating it is, who knows who the hell will be running the Browns come this April?

          Quinn is at least as good as Sanchez right now.

          Not fucking remotely, he’s not.

          The Browns are not going QB shopping. They need to get a dynamic RB who can make plays out in the flat to lighten the load.

          I agree. In my mock, I have the Browns taking whichever of the two stud DT’s fall to them (Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy). I’m just saying, the Browns organization is most definitely in flux and they have to be considered a wildcard right now. Mangini is a dead man coaching. I don’t think they’d take a QB, but they certainly could, if a new regime comes in and starts cutting heads.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

            Quinn is at least as good as Sanchez right now.

            “Not fucking remotely, he’s not.”

            Perhaps I’m wrong, but I think he meant “playing as well as Sanchez right now”.

          • Mike Pop says:

            Quinn is at least as good as Sanchez right now.

            Not fucking remotely, he’s not.


            I think you’re being a little too biased here. ‘Not fucking remotely’? Please. Right now, they’re not far off from each other. Not a good thing, because Quinn is 25 but he has also been given less chances than Sanchez.

            I’d say you put Sanchez on the Browns right now, he does just as good or bad as Brady Quinn does and same with Brady on the Jets. They are both young QB’s – Sanchez will probably end up being a better QB. That’s my opinion.

            But don’t act like Sanchez is miles above Quinn right now.

            • Yes, let’s all overreact to 5 turnovers against the Pats and 4 touchdowns against the Lions.

              • Mike Pop says:

                Not what I’m doing.

                Brady Quinn is on the shittiest team in football with an idiot coach.

                Jets >>>>>>> Browns

                There is more to judging a QB than just the QB himself. Look at Jay Cutler behind a shitty Bears offensive line where he can’t get anything done.

              • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                Sanchez has had a terrible year. This is pretty undeniable.

                Is he a rookie? Yes. Will he get better? Almost certainly. Is he playing that much better than Quinn, RIGHT NOW? No. To be honest, right now he may be playing worse.

  21. Salty Buggah says:

    It would be funny if the Nets beat the Nuggets. Doubt it though (now watch it come true…)

  22. Salty Buggah says:

    So a couple of years ago, Melo was kinda overrated. Does anyone think he still is?

    • Steve H says:

      He’s taken a huuuuuuge leap this year. He’s gone from one of the best scorers in the league to one of the best players in the league.

  23. The Artist says:

    Mets make their first big signing of the off season-

    Another 3 years hearing about how ‘these pitchers are all babied nowadays’ from a guy who never pitched.

    • Reggie C. says:

      Does that mean Delgado’s not coming back?

      Good! He now gets to refuse the salute the anthem elsewhere!!ll1L


    • JMK aka The Overshare says:

      They’re actually a pretty solid booth. They almost seem to hate the Mets sometimes. Can be pretty amusing.

  24. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    Yankees sign Dominican prospect

    According to Baseball America, the Yankees signed Dominican prospect Eladio Moronta. The center fielder, who recently had a MLB suspension for misrepresenting his age lifted, is said to have excellent speed and a strong arm.

    On a side note: Suspended for misrepresenting his age? Really? Somewhere, El Duque is shaking his head and laughing out loud.

  25. Free Mike Vick says:

    When the Pirates win a world series with Tabata and Ohlendorf leading the way…call me please.


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