Daily Dose: Tommy John surgery for Nady
Xavier Nady felt a “sharp pain” in his elbow on April 14 and reports immediately surfaced that he’d need surgery. He opted instead to rehab the injury and looked to be making good progress, but suffered a setback during a minor-league game last week and the Yankees confirmed Thursday that he’ll undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.
A fluky .330 batting average had Nady’s value at an all-time high when New York acquired him last July, but he was a career .272/.327/.441 hitter heading into the season and hit a nearly identical .270/.319/.469 in 66 post-trade games. Damaso Marte was included in the deal along with Nady and has been awful since, so the Yankees got little value for Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, and Jeff Karstens.
Nady faces 9-12 months on the sidelines and is an impending free agent, so he’s unlikely to re-sign with the Yankees and may have trouble securing more than an incentive-laden deal on the open market. Tabata was the centerpiece of the deal and has struggled at Double-A, but he’s still just 20 years old and Pittsburgh has already gotten 238 innings of 4.57 ERA pitching from Ohlendorf and Karstens.
While the Nady trade looks a whole lot different now than it did at the time, here are some other notes from around baseball ...
* If you watched the World Baseball Classic the name Aroldis Chapman should ring a bell, as the 21-year-old southpaw flashed a high-90s fastball while pitching for Cuba. Earlier this week he defected while the Cuban national team was in the Netherlands for a tournament. Chapman explained afterward that he just walked right out of the team hotel and hopped into a waiting car.
“Now the plan is to sign with a major-league team,” Chapman said. Seven years ago Jose Contreras defected in a very similar manner before signing a four-year, $32 million contract with the Yankees. Contreras was already 30 years old at the time and the consensus has Chapman as a vastly superior talent, so speculation is that he could command upwards of $60 million in a bidding war.
Chapman should be targeted heavily in any keeper league where he’s available, because after watching him in the WBC there’s no doubt that his raw stuff is elite and has the potential to make him an ace. However, even with a 100-mph heater and promising off-speed pitches he’s far from ready to thrive at the age of 21. He had a 5.68 ERA during the WBC and a 4.03 ERA in Cuba last season.
* Perhaps regretting their decision to trade Mark DeRosa in December, the Cubs traded for a poor man’s version Thursday by getting Jeff Baker from the Rockies. Baker isn’t as versatile defensively or as potent offensively, but can play second base, third base, and the outfield corners while hitting .257/.313/.458. Of course, he’s batted just .205/.266/.343 away from Coors Field, so don’t expect too much.
AL Quick Hits: CC Sabathia allowed six runs on 10 hits in 5.2 innings Thursday, giving up more than four runs for the first time since mid-April ... Despite his 7-1 record, Matt Palmer has been demoted to the Angels’ bullpen to make room for Ervin Santana (triceps) in the rotation ... Vicente Padilla’s next outing has been pushed back to Tuesday because of shoulder soreness ... Mark Buehrle took a shutout into the ninth inning Thursday while improving to 8-2 ... Alexei Ramirez sat out Thursday’s game after bruising his finger the night before ... Tampa Bay added former top prospect John Meloan to the bullpen mix Thursday, hoping that the 25-year-old can rediscover his once dominant stuff ... Ichiro Suzuki swiped a base and doubled twice Thursday, boosting his batting average to .370 ... After never playing an inning at the position prior to this year, Ty Wigginton appeared at shortstop Thursday for the fifth time this season.
NL Quick Hits: Raul Ibanez (groin) has had his rehab assignment pushed back twice, so he won’t be rejoining the Phillies until at least next week ... Joey Votto went 4-for-6 with a walk-off single Thursday and is 15-for-38 (.395) since coming off the disabled list ... Tim Redding allowed five runs while recording seven outs Thursday, as his ERA rose to 6.99 ... Alfonso Soriano was a healthy scratch for the second straight game Thursday, with Sam Fuld starting in his place ... About one month removed from hip surgery, Brett Myers will begin a throwing program next week ... Derrek Lee went deep twice and drove in a career-high seven runs Thursday ... Matt Diaz had another strong game Thursday, going 3-for-4 with a double and a steal ... Doug Davis got stuck with a no-decision for seven innings of one-run ball Thursday, making him 3-8 despite a 3.15 ERA ... Mark DeRosa (wrist) is unlikely to start again until Tuesday, according to Tony La Russa.