July 25, 2008

By Jon Heyman, SI.com

The Yankees have acquired outfielder Xavier Nady and reliever Damaso Marte from the Pirates for Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, Dan McCutchen and Jeff Karstens.

The six-player trade was finalized Saturday, the Yankees confirmed, and Nady and Marte arrived in Boston in time for a available for a 3:55 p.m. EDT game against the Red Sox.

Nady, originally drafted by the Padres in 2000, has become an emerging power threat over his six years in Major League Baseball -- three with San Diego, one-half season with the New York Mets and then 2 1/2 seasons with the Pirates. He has 75 career homers but 33 since April 2007.

Though Nady's contract does not expire until after the 2009 season, the Pirates seemed determined to unload either Nady or Jason Bay, in favor of Andrew McCutchen, a five-tool outfielder who is widely hailed as Pittsburgh's top prospect.

With Marte, the Yankees get a power arm with set-up and closing experience. In eight-plus years in the majors, Marte has posted strong numbers in both ERA (3.21) and WHIP (1.25). This season, Marte is 4-0 with a 3.47 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings. He also has 36 career saves, including the five he had earned recently as the Pirates' de facto closer, after Matt Capps was lost for a significant time.

According to Baseball America, the Pirates will be getting two of the Yankees' top farmhands. The likely jewel of the group is Tabata, a five-tool outfielder who may have been the best overall athlete in the Yankees' system. Tabata, who turns 20 on Aug. 12, has spent this season at the Double-A level. With Ohlendorf, rated No. 9 by Baseball America, the Pirates get a versatile power pitcher who could start or be groomed as a closer. Just 25, Ohlendorf has a 1-1 record with 36 strikeouts through 40 innings at the Triple-A level.

The trade had initially included Phil Coke and George Kontos instead of Karstens and McCutchen. It is not known why the final two players involved were changed.

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