Lately, the news on the wire is that Yankees are interested in trading Xavier Nady. Seems, that with Johnny Damon, Brett Gardner, Melky Cabrera, Hideki Matsui and new Yankee Nick Swisher, the outfield in Yankee Stadium seems full, and with Swisher able to play 1B, Nady is the odd man out.
Only problem is, the free agent market is filled with outfielders out of work. That means the Yankees will have to look for the right team with the right situation, and pitch a good deal, to be able to make a deal work. That might be difficult.
If I may...
The Yankees should go to the Atlanta Braves and offer OF Xavier Nady and 1B Juan Miranda for utility IF Martin Prado and minor leaguer SP Jeff Locke.
Let's start with the Yankees. If they truly feel comfortable with Nick Swisher as their starting right fielder (and their are some questions as to Swisher's ability to play right field as well as Nady), and that Swisher will bounce back at the plate from a poor 2008 season, then trading him to Atlanta would be an ideal situation.
Atlanta was 14th in the NL in HRs last year with a pathetic 130 HRs total. Jeff Francouer led the way for the Braves outfielders with 11 HRs slugged. Problem with that was, Francouer did it while betting a awful .239. The other outfielders combined chipped in with 17 HRs. In the NL East, that's just not going to cut it.
Nady, by himself, had 3 fewer home runs than the entire Brave outfield. And, in these cost-conscious times, Nady will cost a heck of a lot less than a Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn; just 6.55 million for one year of service. Nady will shore up the Braves offense, which relied waaaaaaay too heavily on Brian McCann and Chipper Jones last year. And not one Brave had 100 RBI last year. Nady will help that. Last year—a year he switched leagues and faced new pitchers in new ballparks—he had 97 RBIs.
As for Miranda, the bane of his existence is named Mark Teixiera. With no place to be promoted to in the big club, the talented Miranda could be a steal for the Braves as a throw-in. In 2008 in AAA, Miranda had 22 doubles and 12 HRs in 99 games—his numbers show signs he can become a power hitter. In the Arizona Fall League, Miranda had a eye-popping .658 slugging percentage with 5 HRs in 19 games. Now, Casey Kotchman is the every-day 1B in Atlanta; however, if Kotchman continues to struggle, (.237 BA with two homers after coming over from the Angels), Miranda, might be a good, and cheap, alternative.
For the Yankees, aside from unglutting their outfield, they would ameliorate 2 problems. 1st, on the major league side, they would get some valuable backup for their infield. As of this writing, their backup for 2B, SS and 3B is Cody Ransom, Cody Ransom and Cody Ransom. Which, for a team spending close to 200 million dollars and has aspirations of a World Series, is scary. Not that the key to a 2009 Yankee Championship is Martin Prado, but he would provide a reliable backup should A-Rod, Jeter or Cano go down for a short period of time. And he could adequately provide a day off for those guys without a humongous drop-off in production. In limited time, Prado batted .320 for the Braves. But with Kelly Johnson, talented youngster Yunel Escobar and of course, Chipper Jones blocking his way, Prado wouldn't find significant time in Atlanta. And with the Braves signing every-position-player Omar Infante, Prado might serve the Braves more as trade bait. The Yankees could use him.
Part 2 of the deal—and in a way, the key—is Locke. With the Yankees giving up their 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks in this year's draft (with the signings of Sabathia, Texiera and Burnett), their farm system is going to take a beating. In trading Nady, the Yankees must focus on getting something back that would help replenish their minor league system. The Braves, on the other hand, are flush with prospects, not the least of which, reside on the mound. With Jair Jurrjens and Jorge Campillo already succeeding in the big show and highly regarded prospects Tommy Hanson, Cole Rohrbough, Kris Medlen, Edgar Osuna, Todd Redmond and Scott Diamond (among others), the Braves can afford to trade one of their prospects—not a main one—for Nady and Miranda. Locke is a lefty—a rarity for the Yankees farm system—and is just 21 years old.
On the whole, the deal makes sense for both teams; the Braves get a needed bat to help provide protection for McCann and Jones, and a very capable outfield for a relatively cheap price. And they also get a talented power bat that can back-up (or potentially start) at 1B. The Yankees get a quality backup for a number of positions, as well as a prospect lefty for a system staved of those.
With the Braves making a big push to shore up its rotation this off season by getting Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami and Javier Vasquez, they are going to need their everyday players to help them out. And for the Yankees to go into the season with Cody Ransom potentially playing a great deal of time should an injury occur, is terrifying. And they help out a beleaguered farm system. The deal makes sense.
That's just my modest proposal...for your consideration.