Examining Xavier

The last time Xavier Nady was in the limelight he was in the midst of career best season, hitting .305/.357/.510 and finishing 2008 with the New York Yankees after a mid-season trade. In July, Nady’s 2009 campaign officially ended after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow. Unfortunately for the (in two days) 31-year-old, he enters free agency coming off what amounts to a week full of regular season playing time over the last 12 months.

From 2005-7, Nady hit .274/.330/.457 in 1,338 plate appearances. In 2008, he hit .305/.357/.510 in 607 plate appearances and the Pirates sold high on him to the Yankees. Nady’s gratuitous BABIP inflation faded after the trade – err, I mean he melted under the pressure of the bright lights – and his OPS went from .919 with the Pirates to .794 with the Yanks. A napkin estimation of Nady’s 2010 wOBA probably lands you in the .330-.340 range. Or, average-to-slightly-above.

Any team interested in Nady has to consider what his arm was before the injury and what it will be like afterwards. From 2005-7 Nady posted exactly zero positive arm ratings, and in 2008 he was about a run above average. He won’t make a ton of errors but he also won’t make a ton of difficult grabs either. UZR rates him as an annually slightly below average defender even with a positive 2008 thrown into the mix. Dewan’s Plus/Minus agrees with the slightly below average description.

That makes Nady essentially an average right-handed hitting corner outfielder. Gabe Kapler is somewhat comparable and he signed a one-year, $1.05M deal with the Rays before hitting the open market. Mark Kotsay signed a similar deal but he’s a lefty. He’s not a four-win player like he was in 2008 and teams know this. Factor in the injury and it’s hard to see him making near his $6.5M salary from this season, not that Scott Boras won’t try.

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Dirty Water
Guest
Dirty Water

‘and the Pirates sold high on him to the Yankees’

excuse the astute observation, but doesn’t that occur quite often?

Why, yes. Yes it does.

Rich in NJ
Guest
Rich in NJ

Cite other examples.

The trade was ill-conceived, but Marte’s performance during the postseason mitigated, if not arguably reversed, my negative assessment of the trade.

Dirty Water
Guest
Dirty Water

Cannot. But than again, you know why I cannot.

The MFY don’t need to trade anything because eventually they’ll have the option of buying that player (or players) for twice what any other team is willing to. And pay they will, and have. Which, btw, does bring their barren farm into question once again. As in, if the Yanks never trade prospects, why is it that they never have any?

Steve
Guest
Steve

MF World Champs.

stings, doesn’t it?

Tom B
Guest
Tom B

why would you say the yankees have no prospects? oh, you’re just bitter.

i’d say they have quite a few already in the mix. and another handful on the way in the next 2-3 years. how many other clubs in baseball can claim that? 2? be very afraid of this team, because soon you won’t only be crying about money.

Nik
Guest
Nik

Man, you’re still sore?

Rob in CT
Guest
Rob in CT

1) Nick Swisher for Wilson Betemit. This is recent history.
2) The trade was Nady + Marte for, IIRC, 4 prospects. If Tabata works out it could end up hurting. But it’s also entirely possible that the Pirates end up getting nothing much of use out of that trade. Given it was a mid-season desperation trade, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
3) The Yankees farm system is middling. Not great, not bad. Would be better if Cole had signed. But that stuff happens sometimes.
4) This isn’t SOSH. People are just going to laugh at your MFY stuff here.

Steve
Guest
Steve

I think the Pirates are happy with the trade b/c in the NL, Ross Ohlendorf can be a useful #4 starter. I don’t think he could crack the Yankee rotation, so in that respect, it’s probably a good trade for both sides. Tabata could bite them, but we have to remember there were serious off-field issues with the guy, and he may have just needed a change of scenery.

I wouldn’t go so far to say that the Yankees don’t get past the Phillies without Marte, but he got so many big outs, that I probably wouldn’t undo the trade knowing what I know now. I understand the shortcomings of that reasoning, but he was still a significant piece of a World Series team even if the Yankees “overpaid” for a handful of (key) outs.