The Price Just Went Up

As speculated, Xavier Nady returned to New York. However, not to the team we hoped.

The Yankees have just obtained Nady and Damaso Marte from the Pirates in return for Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Tabata, George Kontos, and Phil Coke Dan McCutchen and Jeff Karstens.

What does that mean to the Mets?

Number one, it ends the rumors of X-man returning to Shea. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the deal raises the price for every other decent bat available on the trade market.

Though Tabata is having an off year, he’s still a few weeks shy of 19 years old and playing in AA. At one time he was considered the Yankees’ top hitting prospect, and was somewhere among their top 3 prospects at the time of the trade.

It could be argued that Tabata is on a similar level to Fernando Martinez — and if you buy into that comparison, then it might have cost the Mets a package of F-Mart, Jon Niese (who compares to McCutchen), and possibly Aaron Heilman.

So if that’s the package for Xavier Nady, what would the ransom be for Jason Bay? Matt Holliday? Heck, suddenly Raul Ibanez becomes expensive.

Of course, some will say that F-Mart is on a higher level than Tabata, and so the Yankees really didn’t give up that much. I’m not so sure. While Fernando Martinez projects as a power hitter, and Tabata’s ticket was as a hitter for average, it’s difficult to convince anyone that Martinez is in a different stratosphere from Tabata right now. After all, Martinez has hit only 5 homers in 256 at-bats — not exactly Ruthian. Yes, I know he’s only 19 years old, I’m simply pointing out that no one knows for sure, based on what he’s done so far, that he’ll be the next Juan Gonzalez (as Omar Minaya likes to say).

This Nady deal could be the first domino … watch for more deals to come in the next 72 hours.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude July 25, 2008 at 8:36 pm
    When I first saw the players involved in the deal, I thought the Yanks had stolen Nady and Marte from the Pirates. But I guess the Pirates have their eyes more on next decade than next year, in which case they probably didn’t do awful – especially considering that Nady is arbitration eligible next year and due to make a ton of moolah, and Marte has a $6-mil option, which is quite high for a middle reliever on a subpar team. Tabata’s stats look like junk, but I’m sure people not familiar with F-Mart would say the same thing about our #1 prospect, and being only 19 Tabata has plenty of time to mature. More than anything else I’m just bummed that the Yankees improved themselves and seem all but destined to once again make the playoffs with the help of a player that should still be a Met, if it weren’t for one Duaner Sanchez late night taxi ride.

    So, if it is indeed the case that the “A” grade players are going to be fetching a bevy of top prospects, it only further re-enforces my stance to go after a lesser-commodity who would be more of a Shawn Green addition than a Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. I’d still prefer Huston Street over anybody, but he’d more than likely cost Martinez, Niese, and Heilman at the least in this market, in which case Omar is best suited just sticking with what he’s got.