It seems pretty clear that the Damaso Marte/Xavier Nady trade didn’t work out the way the Yankees would have liked.
The move was supposed to boost the Yankees into the postseason in 2008, which didn’t happen. Nady was supposed to have added value because he was under team control in 2009, but an injury robbed him of almost that entire season. Marte was supposed to give the Yankees a go-to left-hander out of the bullpen, which has occasionally happened.
Ultimately, though, the Yankees won No. 27. They won it with Marte pitching extremely well postseason, with Ross Ohlendorf having pitched well in Pittsburgh and with Nady stranded on the disabled list. It wasn’t exactly how they drew it up, but the Yankees won, which makes it hard to feel too bad about any deal that led to that moment.
As Rob pointed out this morning, Marte remains a valuable piece. He was outstanding in the playoffs, and even his regular season splits against left-handers were good. If having him in the bullpen made it easier for the Yankees to make trades for Curtis Granderson and Javier Vazquez, all the better.
On the trade market, you (almost) always have to give up something to get something. To get Marte — and a few months of Nady – the Yankees gave up one pitcher who might be developing into a solid mid-rotation starter (Ohlendorf), one pitcher who had a strong enough Triple-A season to get his first taste of the big leagues (Dan McCutchen), one pitcher who has been designated for assignment (Jeff Karstens), and one young outfielder who hit .303 in Double-A last season but still hasn’t shown much power (Jose Tabata).
Was that too much? Probably. But the Yankees won the World Series, and even that mistake had a positive impact on making that happen.