Friday, July 25, 2008

Xavier Nady Deal Clouds Barry Bonds Picture

The Yankees trade of four minor leaguers to acquire Pirates outfielder Xavier Nady appears to cloud the outlook for the team to acquire free agent home run king Barry Bonds, as a key impetus of the theoretical Bonds deal was to have been the avoidance of giving up prospects.

Though the Yankees had virtually confirmed a recent MLBnewsonline report that the Yankees were contemplating a contract for Bonds, it would appear that the Nady deal might have superseded other considerations, especially since the team traded away coveted young pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, plus additional prospects Jose Tabata, Phil Coke and another, unnamed minor leaguer, according to's Jon Heyman.

As a matter of course the consummation of the deal awaits a medical evaluation of all the players.

Nady -- in the midst of a career year with 13 homers and 57 RBI while hitting .330 -- bats right-handed, meaning that the Yankees still might want Bonds to hit from the left side of the plate. But just exactly what the team is up to now would be anyone's guess.

Before the deal had been reported, Co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner confirmed the team had been discussing Bonds, but indicated the former Giant was only one of a number of options, according to the Associated Press.

An inside source previously had told MLBnewsonline that a Bonds contract had been drafted, but that it would not be tendered until it became clear that right fielder Hideki Matsui would be out for the season. Matsui is still attempting to avoid season ending surgery, and will reach a crossroads in about one more week, according to various published reports.

In addition to Nady, the Yankees also will acquire reliever Damaso Marte from the Pirates.