I`ve discussed a few different Nady trade ideas before and if they do trade someone, Nady should be the guy. I still maintain most of what I`ve written. However, I think it`d be best if they traded nobody at all.
First of all, the chances of them getting an Aaron Harang or Jonathan Sanchez are small. Their are still plenty of corner outfielders on the market like Dunn and even Manny if you`re willing to splurge. At the moment a guy like Pat Burrell, who was comparable to Nady last year, was just given a 2 year deal worth 8 million a year. This is a buyers market where Abreu could be had for about 10 million for one year, Dunn could get a similar AAV for two or three years. Teams are not going to give up young talent for a difference of only about one win and a couple million dollars.
Secondly, theirs a lot of value in having a guy like Swisher on the bench. Swisher can play first base, DH, left-field, and right-field all very well (excepting DH....). The Yanks went into 2008 with Jason Giambi, Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, and Bobby Abreu playing those respective positions. Out of the 162 games a year they missed a combined total of 111 games. These games were filled with a rather pathetic combination of Brett Gardner, Wilson Betemit, Justin Christian, and whoever else they had to throw out there. Eventually, Nady came over in a trade and filled up a lot of at bats but it cost us Jose Tabata.
So how critical were those 111 games? Well, assuming Swisher bounces back to his usual levels of about 3.5 wins above replacement level he`d have been a pretty big upgrade over the guys they threw out there last year. Or for that matter, what they may have to deal with this year. Melky, Gardner, and Ransom, who would otherwise be the backups for the positions that Swisher plays, were basically replacement level last year. One of Melky and Gardner will end up starting in center as well. So, over those 111 games Swisher would add 2.4 wins to the Yanks total. To give you an idea of what that means, Nady improved 2.6 wins from 2007 to 2008, his career year. Those 2.4 wins are worth about 13 million dollars. Theirs a big advantage you get from having a bench guy who can step in and rest the normal starters as well.
The most obvious part of this trade is Nady's own value. Ironically, it may be the least important part. If he were traded it would push Swisher into a starting role. If Swisher bounces back then even if Nady can repeat his 2008 it would be basically a wash. Both would be worth about 3.5 wins. I think its much more likely that Nady reverts back to his old self than Swisher staying as his new self as well so this is essentially a wash.
Theirs also one more reason. Nady only needs to have a decent 2009 to be ranked as a Type A free agent and since he`s only making 6 million dollars next year he will probably decline arbitration if he has a good enough year to make that ranking. So, any trade offer would have to beat the 2.4 wins that Swisher adds as a bench player and the two draft picks that they will probably/hopefully receive for Nady when he leaves as a free agent. I doubt it. Especially if Pettitte returns and they have no need for a 5th starter. Besides that, any young pitcher they traded for would create a log-jam there that would perpetually block any of their pitching prospects that they`ve worked to develop.