25 Jul 2008
So the deal will be Nady and Marte for Tabata, Ohlendorf, Kontos and Coke. Let’s look at what the Yankees gave up first.
Clearly the biggest name the Yankees gave up is Tabata and prior to this season you wouldn’t have wanted him included in this trade. But, the storm clouds that led Baseball America to report this winter that, "scouts outside the organization chide him for failing to give a consistent effort," really showed up in 2008. On the field, he has been bad- putting up an awful line of .248/.319/.310. Off the field he has been suspended for lack of effort and almost quit the team at one point. The potential is still there and he is just about to turn 20, so don’t count him out, but his stock has really diminished. Once he was targeted as the heir to Abreu in right for 2009. Now, 2010 might be an aggressive projection for him to reach the majors and the power that scouts say will be there still hasn’t shown up. The Pirates may get a star, they may get a bust.
Ohlendorf has always been projected as a back of the rotation guy or a setup guy. He washed out of the bigs this year, but he has pitched well back at Scranton. The thing is, would you rather have Ohlendorf or David Robertson? I would take Robertson, so I don’t think the loss of Ohlendorf is that big a deal.
Kontos and Coke are an interesting duo. Coke has been dominant at AA this year, striking out 109 in 114 innings. Plus he is a lefty, which is always a big plus. But, Coke is also 26, a little old for AA. He looks like he has a great future, but the age is a red flag.
Kontos doesn’t have the age concerns and he has numbers almost as good as Coke’s, but Kontos has his own red flags. He was arrested last year for failing to leave a bar at closing time and BA describes him as having a history of "not living up to expectations". He profiles as a #3 starter and if he can overcome his off-field propblems, he should get to the bigs 2010.
In return for those four, the Yankees have solved two problems in the present and possibly a couple for the future.
Marte gives them a lefty for the pen which is a plus, but he is more than a situational lefty, he can setup as well. He returns to the Yankees seven years after they traded him for Enrique Wilson. He has a $6-million option for next year which means the Yankees could exercise that or let him go and probably receive compensation in the draft.
Nady is presumably going to play left on most days though he is a rightfielder. He is a good righty bat, but probably not as good as his 142 OPS+ this year. He terrorizes lefty pitching which is a huge need for the Yankees and since he is under their control until after 2009, his arrival almost certainly marks the end of Bobby Abreu’s tenure as a Yankee. One of the best things about Nady is that he has played in New York, with the Mets in 2006, and he put up a .267/.326/.487 line there, so he can handle New York.
This is the type of deal the Yankees needed to make. Brett Gardner has an interesting future but he isn’t ready to handle the majors right now. Farnsworth is showing you right now why the Yankees need more bullpen help. The prospects are solid, but not spectacular. Tip your cap to Brian Cashman, he just made a good trade.