Posted by: portersprospectreport | July 26, 2008

Breaking News: Pirates trade Nady, Marte to Yankees for 4 Prospects

Yesterday, the New York Yankees became latest team to boslter their roster for the post season run when they traded 4 minor league prospects to the Pittsburgh Pirates for OF Xavier Nady and LHP Damaso Marte.  In return, the Pirates acquire much heralded OF Jose Tabata, RHPs George Kontos and Ross Ohlendorf, and LHP Phil Coke. 

How will this trade affect the market for these players’ cards?  Here’s my analysis:

Xavier Nady

Yankees should be happy with Nady

Yankees should be happy with Nady

  • Nady’s 2000 SPX cards have already experience momentous growth.  Just two days ago, one went unsold on Ebay at $25.  Since the trade, one has sold on a “Buy It Now” at $36 and one is currently running at $46.55 with over 9 hours left.  Nady has yet to don the pinstripes, but he is assured of a starting position in LF with Hideki Matsui out for the remainder of the season.  It doesn’t take a genious to realize that this is a great time to SELL Nady.  Don’t wait for a post-season run!  The Yankees are in the hunt, but Boston and Tampa Bay are just too good to hand the division over to the Yankees. 
His time has come

His time has come

  • Another big benefactor from Nady’s switch is the Pirates’ #1 prospect Andrew McCutchen who will finally have an opportunity to make his major league debut.  I think McCutchen’s best 2005 values will be found in the Bowman Draft (non-chrome) and Bowman Heritage non-autographed cards which sell for 75 cents to $1.25 each.  Oddly, his Bowman Chrome Draft refractors have been selling for $10-12 each, which seems low to me.  McCutchen has tools galore and he revels in every challenge.  McCutchen has a knack for boosting his performance with each promotion he has had.  He will be in Pittsburgh sooner rather than later and once he’s there, his cards will jump.


Jose Tabata

McClouth, McCutchen, and (Mc)Tabata in '09

McClouth, McCutchen, and (Mc)Tabata in '09

  • The future of the mega-talented and somewhat immature Tabata took a turn with this deal.  Gone is the exposure of being one of the top prospects for one of the most popular teams in professional sports, but this trade does accelerate Tabata’s ascention to the major leagues.  Tabata has been comared to Manny Ramirez in many prospecting circles, but his power has yet to develop and injuries have raised eyebrows about Tabata’s long term future.  Tabata’s 2006 Bowman Chrome Prospects cards sell for $2.50-4.00 each right now.  If you have some of his cards right now, I would HOLD them to see what Pittsburgh’s plan of development is for Tabata.  If his chromes drop to the $2.00 range, it may be a good idea to BUY a few.  I would venture to say that Tabata’s arrival could spell the beginning of the end for Jason Bay’s tenure in Pittsburgh.


Ross Ohlendorf

Future Bucs Closer?

Future Bucs Closer?

  • Ranked #9 by Baseball America on New York’s prospect list, Ohlendorf has been used exclusively in relief by the Yankees this season.  Ohlendorf is armed with a 93-95 MPH hard sinker and mid-80’s slider.  Ohlendorf has a slew of autographs in 2007 and 2008 products that sell in the $4-6 range.  Now in Pittsburgh, these cards become even less valuable.  If the Pirates convert him to a closer, there may be some value left, but I would spend my dollars elsewhere.


George Kontos

Time for George to turn it around

Time for George to turn it around

  • Kontos is a talented but inconsistent .  Armed with a 90-93 MPH fastball and devastating slider, Kontos racks up strikeouts in bunches.  This season at AA Trenton, Kontos compiled a 3-9 record with a 3.77 ERA and 103K/107IP.  Kontos has his only cards in the 2006 Bowman Draft and Chrome set.  HIs chromes sell for 50-75 cents each and can be found in lots regularly.  A change of scenery and leagues may help Kontos’ overall development, as he stands to have more opportunities with the Pirates.  All in all, I would HOLD on Kontos’ products to see how this transition affects him.  If he appears to improve, BUY as he may be auditioning for a rotation spot in ’09.


Phil Coke

May not merely be a throw-in

May not merely be a throw-in

  • Perhaps the most unheralded of the four prospects is actually having the best season.  Coke has compiled a 9-4 record with a 2.58 ERA and 112K/115IP at AA Trenton.  Coke’s ceiling is as a back of the rotation LHP.  He has first year cards in the 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects set which sell for 30-50 cents each.  He will likely never generate significant hobby buzz, especially as a Pirate.

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