Yankees add Nady, Marte in trade with Pirates

Updated: July 26, 2008, 3:44 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte were with the Yankees and ready to play against the Boston Red Sox after New York finalized a six-player trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday in a deal first reported by ESPN.com's Buster Olney.

The Yankees are sending top outfield prospect Jose Tabata and minor league right-handers Dan McCutchen, Jeff Karstens and Ross Ohlendorf to Pittsburgh.

Damaso Marte

Marte

Xavier Nady

Nady

"It was hard to give up the players we did. I like those players," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in the New York dugout before Saturday's game. "The players we got back -- Marte and Nady -- both will hopefully contribute to the 2008 season and we have them for '09."

Cashman said he had been talking about Marte for a few days and Nady's name came up during his drive to Boston on Friday afternoon, with discussions heating up during batting practice Friday and carrying late into the night.

"I wouldn't have done it if it was rented for a few months," Cashman said.

Nady and Marte were both in uniform, Nady in No. 29 and Marte in 34. Nady was listed in the starting lineup, scheduled to play left field and bat seventh.

To make room, the Yankees optioned outfielder Brett Gardner to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and designated reliever LaTroy Hawkins for assignment.

"I think it's a very good move for us," manager Joe Girardi said. "Xavier is having a very good year. He's a guy that can play left field for us and another right-handed bat. And then we get Marte, who has been very good against left-handed hitters -- and right-handers, too."

The teams agreed to a deal Friday, pending physicals for the players involved. The Yankees confirmed the trade was completed early Saturday afternoon.

It was initially thought New York's package would include minor league pitchers Phil Coke and George Kontos rather than McCutchen and Karstens. But when the Pirates made their final selections Saturday from a list of players the Yankees offered, Pittsburgh chose a group that included McCutchen and Karstens, according to a person familiar with the trade who spoke on condition of anonymity because those details of the talks were not disclosed.

The Yankees, with Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada on the disabled list and possibly lost for the year, needed another right-handed bat for their lefty loaded lineup.

"If I didn't have the injuries to Matsui or Posada, I may not have been looking for a hitter," Cashman said.

Their all-righty bullpen has a 1.67 ERA over its past 23 games, and adding Marte gives them one of the top lefty specialists in baseball.

Nady is batting .330 with 13 home runs and 57 RBIs in 88 games. Marte is 4-0 with a 3.47 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings.

Ohlendorf was 1-1 with a 6.53 ERA in 25 games with the Yankees this season. He was demoted June 27 and had a 1-1 record with a 4.03 ERA in five starts with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Tabata was batting .248 with three homers and 36 RBIs with Double-A Trenton entering play Friday.

High-ranking Yankees officials gathered for meetings at their spring training complex Thursday. After a three-hour meeting, co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner confirmed one of the topics was indicted home run king Barry Bonds.

Steinbrenner wouldn't say if the Yankees are interested in Bonds, but it appears highly unlikely the team will pursue him after acquiring Nady.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press