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Pirates Trade Xavier Nady, Damaso Marte to Yankees

Scroll down for the latest updates. It's Nady and Marte for minor leaguers Jose Tabata, George Kontos, Russ Ohlendorf and Phil Coke.

Paul Meyer doesn't have the details yet, but thinks they're going to the Yankees.

Here's the report from the AP. Nady was pulled from the Pirates' lineup tonight.

I actually suggested trading Nady to the Yankees a couple weeks ago. It'll be interesting to see who the Pirates get. 

I'm all over this one. More details as I find them.

Thanks to Carnival Matleuse.

UPDATE 8:32 PM: KDKA thinks Ian Kennedy or Phil Hughes could be involved, although Hughes is on the major-league DL, which I think means he can't be traded, except perhaps as a PTBNL.

UPDATE 8:35 PM: A Yankees Class AA pitcher named Phil Coke was pulled from his start tonight, the Post-Gazette reports. Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, and George Kontos might be three other players who are involved. Coke and Ohlendorf don't do much for me--they're both fairly old, and would be useful mostly in that they could pitch right away or almost right away--but Tabata and Kontos are real prospects.

Tabata has had a rough year at AA, but he's still 19 for another month. He has hit well in the past and has all kinds of time to make himself into a good big-league outfielder. Kontos looks like a bona fide starting pitching prospect, with a good fastball, a passable change, an excellent slider and a pitcher's build. He turned 23 last month.

If Tabata and Kontos come the Pirates' way, they'd immediately become the second and third-best prospects in the system, behind Andrew McCutchen. Pedro Alvarez, if/when he signs, would obviously bump them down a notch, too.

UPDATE 8:46 PM: Maybe I'm selling Ohlendorf short a bit. He can start, and he has a good strikeout rate this year. He could probably join the Pirates' rotation right away.

UPDATE 8:48 PM: Ken Rosenthal hears the same things the Pirates are hearing: he says it's Tabata, Ohlendorf, Kontos and Coke.

UPDATE 8:50 PM: If this is the trade, then I like it. Fans may be upset about losing Nady in particular, but they'll calm down if Ohlendorf and/or Coke join the team and immediately outperform the string of no-count pitchers who've occupied the back end of the rotation and the middle relief innings. 

Tabata and Kontos are the most important parts of the deal. Tabata is still so young that you can imagine just about anything's possible for him. He's far from a sure thing--his power hasn't developed, and with the troubles he's had with his hand and wrist, it's fair to wonder how much it will--but he showed real skills as an 18-year-old in Class A+, and that's something not many players can say. There's a very good chance Tabata completely flames out, but also a decent chance he becomes a star. I'll take that gamble--the Pirates need stars.

This is a pretty good return for Nady and Marte. It's not a steal by any means, but Tabata and Kontos both have upside and are exactly the sort of players the PIrates should be getting in these trades. I approve, if the trade is as it's been reported.

UPDATE 8:59 PM: Buster Olney confirms the players involved with no equivocation, except to say that the trade is pending physicals.

UPDATE 9:09 PM: Tabata is currently on the DL with a "fairly severe" hamstring problem. You may get the impression from the Post-Gazette's blog that it's a hand issue, but that's not the case, which is probably good.

UPDATE 9:19 PM: People are discussing this in the game thread, and they're not happy, but I think some perspective is in order. Marte's a good reliever and he's going to bring back a pair of draft picks. Nady has been a really good hitter this year, relative to his position, for the first time in his career. He probably isn't going to bring back picks, because he probably isn't going to stay healthy for the next year and a half. He's not a great player, and now was the perfect time to trade him. Neither Nady nor Marte are stars. Tabata could be. And I think all the commentary I've seen from Pirates fans so far underrates Kontos. 

UPDATE 9:35 PM: The Post-Gazette found this footage of Tabata:

Keep in mind that Hughes, who's pitching, is both older and more advanced than Tabata, who's only 17 in this footage. That's why Tabata looks a bit overwhelmed at times.

UPDATE 10:43 PM: It's somewhat strange to now be the person who defends the Pirates' trades, but I just can't understand some of the withering reactions I'm seeing. Other than McCutchen at the tail end of the 2006 season--when he was with Altoona mostly so he could keep playing after both single-A teams had shut down for the year--when's the last time the Pirates have had a teenager in Class AA? I can't think, offhand, of anyone else this decade who has done it. Chad Hermansen did it a decade ago. (And let's please not start comparing Tabata to Hermansen; Tabata has some idea of the strike zone, and he'll probably have decent coaching. Hermansen had neither.)

Tabata is a unique player, and anyone who would write him off this early is crazy. If the deal had been Bay and Marte, then I'd be upset too, but let's keep in mind that Nady is not that good, and that if Tabata can recover from his injuries with no ill effects, he has plenty of time to become a very good player.