Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Trade Update
2008-07-26 09:06
by Alex Belth

According to Pete Abe, Dan McCutchen and Jeff Karstens, not Phil Coke and George Kontos, are going to the Pirates in the Nady-Marte deal.

2008-07-26 09:11:15
1.   JL25and3
Sweeney Murti reported the same thing.

That changes things, at least a little. Before, the only question was about Tabata's value. Now it's about McCutchen's as well

2008-07-26 09:30:08
2.   tommyl
Well, now I dislike this move. McCutchen has been improving as of late. Any idea why this was done?
2008-07-26 09:36:10
3.   Zack
Eh, doesn't change anything for me. Danimal and Karstens were closer to the majors, but thats about it. McCutchen is 26 and Karstens is not good. Neither really have a place with the team. Coke had the advantage of being just about the only lefty in the minors of any note, so he's worth keeping solely for that. McCuthen's future is probably in the pen, and the Yankees have better and younger arms for that role. And Karstens is really bad.

It really doesn't change the trade at all. Dan the Man's upside really isn't very high and there are a lot of guys above him on the depth/upside chart: Hughes, Kennedy, Horne, Acevas, Marquez--and lower down, McAllister, Jones, Betences, and Heredia. They did need to clear up some organizational room, and now there is room for Hughes in AAA when ready, and for Jones to move up. Plus, Horne and Marquez at some point when healthy.

Really, the Yanks should try and ship Coke and Kontos off in another deal now, and clear up even more room...

2008-07-26 09:51:28
4.   Cliff Corcoran
My initial analysis of this trade was that it could turn out to be the Yankees not giving up much and not getting much for it. Karstens is dead weight, and inferior prospect to both Coke and Kontos, but McCutchen could prove to be the best player sent to Pittsburgh in either configuration of the deal if Tabata does indeed prove to be a bust. If Nady goes Craig Wilson on the Yankees, as the most cynical part of me suspects he might, McCutchen could actually prove to be the most valuable player in the deal overall.

To put it simply, McCutchen has passed Alan Horne on the organization's list of pitching prospects. McCutchen is just three months older than Horne, has advanced at roughly the same rate since being drafted out of college, has none of Horne's injury history, and has pitched great this season while Horne has struggled to even take the field. McCutchen's career ERA is also more than a run lower than Horne's.

This also means the Yankees have traded three members of their triple-A rotation, thus greatly reducing their options should Ponson or Rasner stumble. One of the areas I said was a disappointment for the Yankees in my first-half review was the collection of major league ready rotation reinforcements. McCutchen and Ohlendorf appeared to be possible solutions to that problem. Losing the lesser pitcher, Ohlendorf, didn't hurt, but losing both does.

2008-07-26 09:52:21
5.   monkeypants

My main beef with the trade before was that it cost one of the Yankees' two main position prospects. If this report is true, that means the team sent a player whom I believe is more likely to be good (McCutchen), but at a position where the Yankees have surplus. Meanwhile, they keep the position player with (maybe?) higher upside, but (probably) a better chance of being a washout.

Very interesting.

2008-07-26 09:54:38
6.   Cliff Corcoran
3 Zack, I'd say McCutchen had passed both Horne and Marquez on the depth chart. In fact, I'd say he might have been the next man in line behind Hughes and Kennedy, though Aceves was gaining fast.
2008-07-26 09:55:42
7.   Cliff Corcoran
5 You misunderstood Alex. It's McCutchen and Karstens in place of Coke and Kontos. Tabata and Ohlendorf are still in the deal.
2008-07-26 09:59:33
8.   monkeypants
7 Holy Yikes!

Effectively this amounts to two big prospects (possible bust Tabata and rising stock McCutchen) for Nady?

Yeah, now this is looking not very good.

2008-07-26 10:05:13
9.   Cliff Corcoran
8 Had this new package been for Jason Bay only (no Marte), I'd been happy about it, but I just don't believe in Xavier Nady, and the team just doesn't need Marte. I was excited about McCutchen, but it's not as if he's a dominating 21-year-old. He'll be 26 at the end of the season and he's been very good, but a bit inconsistent at Scranton. To me it's more a matter of the fact that they have a greater need for a pitcher like McCutchen (a possible major league rotation reinforcement) than they do one like Marte (who joins an already dominant bullpen), and I'm not convinced that Nady will outperform the Richie Sexson/Wilson Betemit platoon that he's ultimately replacing (assuming, of course, that Damon would be able to return to left field this week).
2008-07-26 10:12:11
10.   monkeypants
9 Yep. Either the Yankees do not want Damon to return to LF, or they see Nady as a stop gap for Abreu next season.

I also wonder if this means that the organization will finally decide to shelve Matsui and Posada for the season.

In any case, as you say without saying, sooner or later the wheels are going to fall off the Ponson lunch wagon, and Rasner has not exactly dominated. Unless they feel that IPK is more or less ready to fill in, immediate pitching help at AAA has just been weakened a lot.

Does this mean that ANOTHER deal is in the works?

2008-07-26 10:39:33
11.   ThurmBobby7908
For what it's worth, according to Mark Feinsand at the Daily News, "One scout familiar with the minor leaguers believes Coke will offer the Yankees more long-term than McCutchen, as the organization has several hard-throwing righthanded relievers and not many lefthanded starters."
2008-07-26 10:47:22
12.   Cliff Corcoran
11 If nothing else, the trade allows Coke to move up to triple-A.

10 I do wonder if the Washburn deal might still happen.

2008-07-26 11:21:05
13.   horace-clarke-era
I don't think it signifies a lot. Some like McCutchen a bit, some think Coke has more upside (and room to progress). Karstens and Kontos ... not worth pixels debating.

I repeat, for next year or two the Yankees, with deep pockets for free agents, are not looking to their deeper AAA guys as major factors. They ARE watching Phil and I hope still high on IPK as a major leaguer, if back end.

I don't see a Washburn deal as at all affected by this one. It happens if Seattle treats it as a salary dump and if it is Wash for Igawa this is good for NY. Major, no. Useful, yes.

I think Nady and Marte are potentially very significant this year (think Nady over Gardner, remember). This team is 2 games out of the WC, 3 out of first right now. We haven't exactly sold the farm for two current big leaguers.

8 No. Do not forget the two draft picks for Marte if we let him go. And I think it is just wrong to worry about adding a good arm in the pen. Girardi might not know what to do with all of them? I'm no big Joe G fan, but really...

AND one must assume Boston, Tampa Bay, L.A. are all considering upgrades, too.

2008-07-26 11:22:54
14.   horace-clarke-era
Now it is McCutchen, Tabata, Karstens and Dorf.

Yahoo Sports and

2008-07-26 11:24:41
15.   JL25and3
I'm probably closer to Zack's view than Cliff's. McCutchen may be a better prospect than Kontos, but I don't think he's integral to their future.

However, this is a deal made entirely for the short term. They have a chance this year, and there's a pretty good argument in favor of going for it. In the long term - Cashman's Plan - the best one can say is that it probably doesn't hurt too much. I don't think Nady will turn into Craig Wilson, but I expect that next year he'll be a perfectly decent outfielder, nothing more. This team is facing some problems over the next couple of years; Nady fills a position, but he doesn't solve any problems.

As a short-term fix for the pennant drive, this is fine. But my criticisms of Cashman's long-range planning (which might have made this deal unnecessary) still hold, and still matter. There's still a lot of work to be done for next year and beyond.

2008-07-26 11:25:37
16.   Cliff Corcoran
14 Yeah, that's what Pete Abe reported as Alex linked to above.
2008-07-26 11:28:52
17.   monkeypants
13 Good point about the future draft picks. My main point is that Marte is not (IMO) important to this trade, just as Karstens and Kontos are not. The Yanks don't need another BP arm, but of course it doesn't hurt. They don't need a LHP, but again, it doesn't hurt. K & K are throw ins.

No, this trade hinges on Nady for McC/Tabata. I think that this might be a steep price to pay. Not unimaginably bad, but a steep price nonetheless.

And I do think that this move may relate to a potential Washburn trade. By emptying the AAA roster, the Yankees have little insurance for a staff that still features Sydney Ponson. I simply refuse to believe that Cash and Co. think that Ponson is for real, or that Kei Igawa can help this year (or ever).

So, by adding McCutchen, the team is signaling (I think) that another move for a pitcher is on the horizon.

2008-07-26 11:36:44
18.   JL25and3
13 The Yankees will get at least one draft pick for Marte, but they might not get two. By last year's rankings he would have been a type B free agent, which brings no first-round pick, just a supplemental.

No one knows how the ranking system works, so it's impossible to predict what he'll be this time. My best guess is that he will be type A. His stats are generally about the same this year as they were two years ago, with one "major" exception - he's 4-0 so far this year, 1-7 in 2006. That may well be enough to raise his ranking, but there's just no telling. (It also depends on how all the other relievers do.)

2008-07-26 12:07:20
19.   williamnyy23
17 I don't think you can divorce Marte's innings and the real possibility of the two draft picks he could net from the equation. Both have a chance to benefit the Yankees now and in the future. Also, I think it's all but a certainity that Marte will bring two picks as the Pirates were reportedly talking up his Type-A status. Even though we can't know for sure, it seems likely Marte will be a Type-A player.

I am not sure why so many think McCutchen represents a huge upgarde in the trade. While his name has been more prominent, he is an almost 26 year old who hasn't dominated AAA. Might he be a useful arm, Yes. Is he a huge upgrade over Coke and Kontos? I don't think so.

2008-07-26 12:14:13
20.   monkeypants
19 McCutchen was only valuable, IMO, because he was a possible replacement for Ponson/Rasner. With Horn hurt, IPK still recovering, Hughes still a long ways off in his rehabbing, and Karstens gone, that leave Kei Igawa as the only insurance should Ponson or Rasner falter.

Moreover, as Pete Abe just posted, Igawa was waived, cleared waivers, and is now off the 40 man roster. That means that the team does not see him as a viable option.

This only reinforces my belief that there is another deal in the works. The FO would not empty the AAA pitching corps otherwise.

2008-07-26 12:35:44
21.   williamnyy23
20 But why would McCutchen be more of an option than Aceves, IPK or even Coke? Probably most relevant though is another deal is coming.
2008-07-26 12:39:59
22.   cult of basebaal
mccutcheon was a very unlikely replacement for ponson/rasner.

aceves is 1st in line ... or IPK is.

one, or both will be up within a month.

aceves would have been here already except for the groin injury when he was promoted to AAA
after that you've got the likely return of at least one of hughes and wang

in my eyes, this doesn't really change the trade materially at all

mccutcheon is probably the best pitcher of the 4 involved, but karstens is clearly the worst, the net effect is a wash of the pocket lint involved and overall a good move that materially strengthens the yankees this year and probably next.

yes, this likely nady's career year, but even if he reverts to something like his career norm, he's slightly above average ... and he crushes left handed pitching, something we need to balance the lineup.

here are nady's career splits against LHP:

.320 .396 .483 .879

2008-07-26 12:42:25
23.   monkeypants
21 22 Fair points.

I'm migrating up to the newer thread.

2008-07-26 12:42:38
24.   cult of basebaal
i see that gardner was the one sent down to AAA, as i expected. it makes more sense to keep christian around, if girardi is smart, he'll use him to spell hacky and lemmiwinks against tough lefties ...
2008-07-26 12:46:17
25.   JL25and3
22 I don't me, .483 SA (.163 ISO) is hitting them, hitting them very well, but not crushing them.

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