Signing Xavier Nady is a smart short-term risk for the Cubs.
One-year, $3.3M with incentives is a little pricier than signing Johnny Gomes or re-signing Reed Johnson, but Nady’s a solid all-around ballplayer, well above average coming off the bench, and durable enough to start if need be.
I have little concern he won’t rebound from his second Tommy John surgery, especially as a bench player.
Still, Nady’s best value to the Cubs may come in late July near the trade-deadline. The Cubs’ outfield situation includes Soriano signed through 2014, Byrd through 2012 and Fukudome through 2011 — a good season for Nady and he’s still on the outs come 2011.
Furthering this scenario for Nady, who by the way, was the Yankees’ starting right fielder in 2009, he’s likely to seek more money, a multi-year deal, and more playing time beyond this year — the Cubs will almost certainly lose him.
Good year or bad year for Nady, it remains a favorable situation for Chicago.
If he’s good you’ve got a valuable trade piece. If he stinks, you wash your hands of him. Each side is a winner, and that’s always the best deal.