How the deal progressed
I love this kind of stuff. Here in the visiting dugout at Fenway Park, Brian Cashman found a seat and detailed the progression of talks with the Pirates, which opened about 72 hours ago with the Yankees checking in on Damaso Marte.
Pittsburgh had long held interest in Ross Ohlendorf, dating back to when Pirates general manager Neal Huntington took over the post, and it was Huntington who brought up Tabata’s name. Obviously the Yankees needed more, and Cashman floated what he called a “weather balloon” by asking for Xavier Nady. When Pittsburgh did not shoot the idea down outright, Cashman felt that a trade could be made.
Original reports had the Pirates also receiving Minor League pitchers Phil Coke and George Kontos, but that changed overnight, leading to the inclusion of Jeff Karstens and Dan McCutchen. Cashman explained that the Pirates were working from a list of prospects they could request, and Coke was even pulled from a start at Double-A Trenton on Friday as a precaution. The Pirates made a final selection on Saturday morning, essentially completing the deal, Cashman said.
Cashman said that one major factor in the trade was that both Nady and Marte could be under the Yankees’ control beyond 2008. Nady is arbitration eligible after this year and will not touch free agency until 2010, while Marte has a $6 million club option for 2009 that the Yankees could pick up, or allow him to leave in exchange for draft compensation.
“To give up those pieces, I wouldn’t have done it if it was a rental for a few months,” Cashman said.
Nady (No. 29) is in the lineup this afternoon, batting seventh and playing left field. He was getting an impromptu primer on the Green Monster from Johnny Damon and bench coach Rob Thomson. Marte (No. 34) is also in the Yankees bullpen and could make his debut if needed.
Say goodbye to Brett Gardner for now (optioned to Triple-A to play every day), LaTroy Hawkins for good (designated for assignment) and probably Kei Igawa (outrighted to Triple-A to remove him from the 40-man roster). It’s telling that 29 big league clubs could have had Igawa if only they would assume his contract, and not a single one saw the value.