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A Brief Review Of The Washington Nationals' Trade History With The New York Yankees....

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With the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals reportedly in talks about Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady, I thought it might be a good time to take a look back at the recent trade history between the teams...(not counting the trade the Expos made with the Yankees in December 2003 that sent Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera and Randy Choate north of the U.S. border with Javier Vazquez going to NY, or any other trades between the teams before 2005, when Montreal moved to DC), and since then, the Washington Nationals have made just two deals with the Yankees, both of which have so far proven fairly insignificant to the respective franchises...

12/5/07 Washington acquired RHP Tyler Clippard from the Yankees for RHP Jonathan Albaladejo. 

Jonathan Albaledejo was signed by Washington as a free agent on May 3, 2007 after six seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates' system, and after just 36 appearances at Double and Triple-A, the 6'5'', 210lb right-hander was called up to Washington to make his Major League debut on September 5, 2007. 14 games, a (1-1) record, 12 K's and a 1.88 ERA later, the Nationals traded the 24-year-old Albaladejo to NY in exchange for RHP Tyler Clippard in December of '07.

Albaladejo pitched in just 7 games with NY before an elbow injury ended his '08 season early, but he's back pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League, with the Indios de Mayaguez, where Albaladejo had 14 saves, a 0.41 ERA and 18 K's in 22.0 IP in the PRWL Regular season. 

Tyler Clippard was (6-13) with a 4.66 ERA and 125 K's in 27 starts and 143.0 IP for the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate in 2008, and (1-1) in 2 starts for the Nationals in place of an injured Odalis Perez, but he didn't hang around long and wasn't used at all after being recalled to the Majors on September 2nd, though he remains on the 40-Man roster heading into Spring Training. 

Ruling: DRAW - Neither pitcher has contributed much on the Major League level. 

7/31/08 Washington acquired SS Alberto Gonzalez from the New York Yankees in exchange for RHP Jhonny Nunez. 

The Washington Nationals acquired a then-20-year-old Jhonny Nunez from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a trade the sent Marlon Anderson out to LA in late August of '06. Nunez's resume at the time included, according to a Washington Nationals' Official Press release entitled, "Nationals acquire pitching prospect Jhonny Nunez from Dodgers for Marlon Anderson":

"...three professional seasons -- the first two of which were spent in the Dominican Summer League -- Nunez is 14-4 with a 2.02 ERA in 36 games (25 starts)."

Nunez was (4-6) with a 4.05 ERA and 86 K's in 106.2 IP in his first year at Class-A Hagerstown in DC's system in 2007, and he was (2-8) with a 5.22 ERA at  Class-A Potomac in '08, moving up to Double-A Harrisburg for 5 games over which he posted a 1.12 ERA with 8 K's in 8 IP before he was traded to NY (in return for SS Alberto Gonzalez), where he went (1-0) in 8 G and 19 IP with a 1.86 ERA and 26 K's for Double-A Trenton. 

Alberto Gonzalez, who originally signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks as an undrafted free agent in 2002, spent three years in the D-Backs' system starting in 2004 before being traded to New York as part of the package that brought Randy Johnson back to the desert in 2007. After the Nationals' acquired Gonzalez from NY for Jhonny Nunez, the shortstop hit .347 in 17 games and 49 AB's with DC over which he collected 6 doubles, 1 HR and 9 RBI's.

Ruling: New York - In spite of Gonzalez's inspired play late in '08, the soon-to-be 26-year-old SS finds himself behind Guzman at short and at least two DC infielders (Anderson Hernandez and Ronnie Belliard) at second heading into Spring Training, while the Yankees included Jhonny Nunez in a package of players they sent to the Chicago White Sox to get Nick Swisher (and Minor League pitcher Kanekoa Teixeira)...Yes!, the same Nick Swisher the Nationals are now trying to acquire from the Yankees.

The Package It Took NY To Get Swisher Back On Nov 13, '08...

IF Wilson Betemit, RHP Jhonny Nunez and RHP Jeff Marquez.

In an article about the Yankees acquiring Nick Swisher from the White Sox, entitled, "Yanks acquire Swisher from White Sox", MLB.com writer Anthony DiComo described Betemit as a "utility man" and wrote that Nunez was, "...a reliever who struck out 26 batters in 19 1/3 Double-A innings," but it was Marquez, who was (15-9) at Double-A Trenton in '07, who seems to be the centerpiece of the trade, as Mr. DiComo writes:

"Marquez ranked among the organization's top pitching prospects heading into 2009, and one of a select few capable of stepping in and helping the big club right away..."

So the Yankees sent a 27-year-old utility infielder in Betemit, a 23-year-old reliever and a 24-year-old top pitching prospect to Chicago to get Swisher...What are they going to want from DC in return? The last time Xavier Nady was traded, the Pirates, who sent "X" to the Yankees, along with pitcher Damaso Marte, received four prospects...pitchers Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens and Phil Coke and an outfielder, Jose Tabata, in return. In an article by MLB.com writer Jenifer Langosch entitled, "Pirates trade Nady, Marte to Yanks", the four were described as "advanced prospects" who would help the...:

"...Pirates begin the process of filling a barren farm system with players who are near Major-League ready."

...Jose Tabata, the 19-year-old outfielder is described by Ms. Langosch as "the cornerstone of the deal", with, "...as much upside as any player in the Pirates' organization." 

...So, in the final analysis, the Yankees parted with a utlitly infielder,  one highly-regarded outfield prospect, one high-end pitching prospect and three other pitchers to Chicago and Pittsburgh in order to bring Nady and Swisher to NY...What is it going to take Washington to bring them to DC?...And should the Nationals really be adding more outfielders and first basemen to the mix? Any chance NY would take Austin Kearns and DY?

MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes, in his article entitled, "Nationals interested in Nady, Swisher", that, "Washington sees Nady as an everyday right fielder", and the Nationals, "would likely use," Swisher, "...to replace (Nick) Johnson at first." Which means, according to Mr. Ladson, that it would be Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes battling for center, Nady in right and, presumably, Josh Willingham in left, which means the Nationals are going to have to trade or somehow for other homes somewhere for a lot of outfielders...unless someone on the Major League roster is included in any deal...???