Free Agent Stock Watch: Xavier Nady

It's always tough for a player when he hits free agency coming off an injury, but it's even tougher when it's a major injury. That's exactly what happened to Xavier Nady last winter, when he was recovering from his second Tommy John surgery after coming to the plate just 29 times for the Yankees in 2009. 

The Cubs rolled the dice and signed Nady to a one-year deal worth $3.3MM in late January, though incentives based on games started and plate appearances have put another $350K in his pocket this season. Let's break down his stock heading into free agency…

The Pros

  • After a slow start, Nady has rounded into form down the stretch, hitting .317/.351/.423 in his last 131 plate appearances. Not coincidentally, that hot streak almost directly coincides with the trade of Derrek Lee, which is when Nady took the first base job outright.
  • He's now more than a full year away from his surgery and hasn't shown any ill effects. 
  • Nady is versatile, capable of playing first and both outfield corners regularly, as well as third in an emergency.
  • He is not projected to be a Type-A (or even a Type-B) free agent, meaning a team would not have to surrender a draft pick to sign him if the Cubs offered him arbitration after the season. 

The Cons

  • Always known for his ability to mash lefthanded pitching (.298/.369/.455 vs. LHP in his career), Nady has hit just .250/.295/.375 against southpaws this year.
  • He's also striking out more than ever, in exactly 27% of his at-bats, and his power numbers are down as well; Nady's .380 slugging percentage is his lowest since 2003.
  • He hit just .225/.298/.344 in 171 plate appearances before taking over at first base full-time, perhaps suggesting that he needs regular playing time to remain productive. 
  • Nady will turn 32-years-old this November, so he's teetering on the edge of his prime and decline phases.

The Verdict

Despite what shaped up to be the worst season of Nady's career, he still has value as a platoon player that won't fall on his face if pressed into full-time duty. It would appear that staying in the NL makes the most sense, but perhaps the more hitter friendly parks of the AL would benefit Nady the most. There's no reason to think he'll be able to find a multi-year deal or get a considerable raise on the open market, so I would expect him to sign for a contract very similar to what he agreed to last winter. 


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19 Comments on "Free Agent Stock Watch: Xavier Nady"


Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

I say Nady signs with the Orioles, 1 yr $4MM.

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

My first impression was that it doesn’t fit what the O’s would do. But the more I think about it, the more I like it. He’d essentially replace Wigginton (unless the O’s don’t feel J. Bell is ready at 3b). He could platoon a bit with Luke Scott and get semi-regular at bats in LF splitting time with Pie. And he could DH. If used properly, he’d have good value like Scott and Wigginton have had the last 2 years. He’s not the type of player to put a team over the top, but he would help the O’s offense.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

No doubt about it. Also, if he plays almost everyday, he could bring back something nice in return. Maybe a Tyler Ladendorf type of deal.

4 years 10 months ago

He should come to philly and be on our bench and fill in when guys are tired or hurt

4 years 10 months ago

Phillies do need a RH for the OF

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 10 months ago

I think Nady would be a real bargain. Also consider that he did miss most of last season, and that he played sporadically for most of the season. I happen to think he’d probably put up better number next year, in whatever role he was used. Heck, the Cubs may just want to keep him. Phillies and Atlanta would be a nice fit too.

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

COME BACK TO THE MEST

Slopeboy
4 years 10 months ago

Nady is not a bench player. That’s not to say that he is great, but to get the most out of him,he has to play everyday. He is like many older vets that are not accustomed to sitting and then producing when needed. I agree with SPANdemonium_is_back_again the Orioles would be a good fit.

bjsguess
4 years 10 months ago

He is a bench player. The guy in his prime was just barely above league average (ages 27 -31 he posted an OPS+ of 108). You take away his 89 games in Pittsburgh in 2008, he’s a sub LA hitter over his career. He doesn’t bring much in terms of fielding value – although the ability to play multiple position does help.He’s a guy coming off a season with an OPS around 700. This follows missing the previous season due to injury. Nady just is not that good of a player. For some reason the perception of his ability always seems to exceed his actual performance.

4 years 10 months ago

Nady to Tampa for 1 year.

crashcameron
4 years 10 months ago

Nady seems like a major-league version of what everyone calls a AAAA:
he’s not really a great answer as an everyday player but he does hit better as an almost-everyday.
he’s been overpaid either way

Slopeboy
4 years 10 months ago

@Crashcameron

AAAA player means that they excel at AAA but cannot make it in the Majors. Nady has proven he’s a Major Leaguer everywhere he’s played. Yes, he’s been overpaid, but remember, most of his contracts were signed before the current economic climate.

crashcameron
4 years 10 months ago

i guess i didn’t clarify: it was an analogy.
“Nady’s a major-league version of …”
AAAA means a tweener.
Nady’s a tweener as would be a pitcher who isn’t really consistent enough to a 4 or 5 but can’t quite adapt to holding a solid bullpen role.

Not saying Nady might not finally find the perfect team/situation to finally thrive as a tweener.

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

Nady is the type of player the A’s would waste money on.

Wrek305
4 years 10 months ago

The Cubs would too and they did. Serious no one is worth 4.5 million dollars after playing 7 games and his season is done.. Only Hendry would give out that money to a mediocre player like Nady

4 years 10 months ago

Given his versatility and his descent enough RH bat he could help almost anyone if the price is right. He won’t get multi-year offers or big money so I see him drawing interest from all over the place.

4 years 10 months ago

If the Cubs don’t get Dunn or one of the other big 1b on the market this year they may want to bring Nady back and perhaps go after a young 1b to platoon with him. Yonder has been mentioned as a trade candidate, others as well, Nady might be the right guy to break them in with.

Wrek305
4 years 10 months ago

There is no reason to start Nady, the Cubs have nothing to play for.. Hoffpauir is better anyway.. Nady is a waste of space on the Roster.. The “Kids” need to play from here on out

3 years 5 months ago

Yankees need a player off the bench and he has proven he can play in NY. He would be a good fit!!