Friday, July 25, 2008

Nady and Marte to the Yankees

It's looking more and more like Nady and Marte to the Yankees for Tabata, Coke, Ohlendorf, and George Kontos. The conversation on this trade begins and ends with Tabata, who might be a super star and might not ever make it to the majors. More later.

MORE: Here's the deal; this is Nady and Marte for Tabata's upside. Ohlendorf is a warm body to fill the roster out with, Coke probably isn't much more than that and neither is Kontos. (ETA: I'm selling Kontos short here. He's got good strikeout numbers and is age appropriate in AA at 23. He might turn out to be a decent starter.) This is a trade for Tabata. The thing is, it's really hard to project Tabata. His minor league numbers are awful, but they're also practically meaningless because he's extremely young. Prospect guys like John Sickels LOVE Tabata, but he really hasn't done much and he's suffered a wrist injury this year that seems to be pretty serious. He's a huge talent, but he's a million miles away from being a sure thing and that puts this awfully close to being a terrible trade. Still, it's hard to judge a trade when high upside prospects are involved. That means I'm going to try and be vaguely positive about this, because if I can't find some upside in this deal I might have to stop being a Pirate fan forever (I'm only vaguely kidding).

In the past couple years, Tabata's name has come up every time the Yankees do their trade deadline panic. They've always held off on dealing him because they believed he was the real thing. Clearly, Huntington believes that as well, because he just traded two of the better players available on the market this week for three virtual nobodies and Tabata. It's certainly possible that we just got a future superstar for Nady and Marte, which makes this an awesome deal for us. It's also every bit as likely that we got absolutely nothing for them. I will say this for Huntington: it's incredibly ballsy to put all of your eggs into one basket like this. It's a huge risk. I'm not incredibly optimistic about this risk paying off for him, but the possibility does exist.

Bottom Line: This really looks like a bad deal to me. Like, a really, really bad deal. I'm not sold on Tabata at all, even in the least bit. The best I can say for him is that the potential exists for him to be a star player and he's waaay to young to write off entirely and that GMs don't ever get anywhere without taking risks. Given the current path of Tabata's career, I'm not certain this is a risk worth taking.

Tabata injury update: Charlie seems to have some evidence that Tabata's hand injuries are in the past and he's out with a hamstring injury this year. That's a really big difference. Hamstring injuries can almost always be overcome, especially by such a young guy. Hand problems are much more serious.

UPDATE: Oh, and there's a poll now. Vote.