First off, I really like this trade. I think the Yankees got two very good players to boost a club that has already shown that they have what it takes to get the job done this year. This trade makes the Yankees serious AL East contenders. And if for some reason they can't swing the East, they are the front runners in my book to win the wild card.
I will have more on this trade soon, so stay in touch
The Yankees moved on Friday to upgrade their club for a push at the postseason, acquiring outfielder Xavier Nady and left-handed reliever Damaso Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for four Minor Leaguers.
The Yankees will part with talented right-field prospect Jose Tabata, plus three pitchers -- right-handers Ross Ohlendorf and George Kontos, plus left-hander Phil Coke.
The deal has not been officially announced, pending the completion of physicals and the exchange of medical paperwork.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi said that they could not speak about trades that had not been completed, but multiple sources have confirmed an agreement. The Pirates have announced a trade of Nady and Marte, but no other particulars.
Nady, enjoying the best season of his seven-year career, could fill the Yankees' need for a veteran right-handed bat in the lineup, as well as provide an additional outfield option. He was pulled from the Pirates' game against the Padres in the first inning at PNC Park while Marte jogged in from the bullpen and hugged his teammates in the dugout.
The 29-year-old Nady was batting .330 with 13 home runs and 57 RBIs in 90 games playing right field for Pittsburgh but will likely shift into the left-field mix with New York, with some center field sprinkled in. Earning $3.35 million this season, he is not eligible for free agency until after the 2009 season.
"He was a huge part of the team," said Pittsburgh's Jason Bay. "One of the best clubhouse presences that we had. It's tough to replace guys like that. But this isn't the first trade in baseball that's ever been made. It's part of the game."
New York's order had a need for a hitter like Nady with Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada likely both lost for the season. Marte will slot into the Yankees' bullpen, helping fill the vacancy for a reliable left-handed reliever after serving as the Pirates' closer for the better part of the month.
"We've got them for a reason. Hopefully, they come in here and help us out," shortstop Derek Jeter said. "You know, with the Yankees, our ownership always gives us an opportunity to win. It seems like every year, if we need some good pieces to help us win, they go out and get them. This year is really no different than any other."
The 33-year-old Marte was 4-0 with a 3.47 ERA in 47 appearances for Pittsburgh, allowing 38 hits and 18 earned runs in 46 2/3 innings. He is in the second year of a two-year, $4.7 million deal and could be a free agent after the 2008 season if the Yankees do not pick up a $6 million club option on his contract.
"I think everybody would like to have a left-handed reliever in their bullpen as a choice," Cashman said. "We have a right-handed reliever who gets lefties out in a strong way, which is Edwar Ramirez. In theory, you'd always love to have left-handers, to be honest, but that's not always realistic, as we've seen the last few years. It's tough to find."