Whatever happened to ... Nady and Bonderman?

Updated: February 5, 2010, 6:04 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
With spring training quickly approaching, players not named Johnny Damon are taking whatever jobs they can find, even guys like Kevin Millar, who you might have thought retired four years ago. But the recent Millar minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs was interesting because he's essentially the insurance policy for another insurance policy. Who might that be? Well, I answer that question with another question: Whatever happened to … Xavier Nady?

With that, I introduce the next entry in our occasional series about once-productive players who have fallen out of fantasy baseball favor, for whatever reason. I discuss the details and what to expect (here is the first such blog, on Daisuke Matsuzaka and others). Today, I turn my attention to the Cubs' outfield. Last week, Nady agreed to a one-year deal for $3.3 million, which seems like a reasonable move for both sides. Nady can hit, the Cubs do need a right-handed-hitting right fielder and it's far from Ben Sheets money. However, while the Cubs might intend for Nady to be a fourth outfielder -- a fancy term for "backup" -- now they've gone ahead and backed up the backup with Millar. I like it!

For those wondering where Nady has been since he delivered 25 home runs, 97 RBIs and a surprising .305 batting average for the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees in 2008, he underwent the second Tommy John surgery of his career and missed all but seven games last season. It doesn't take outfielders quite as long to recover from this elbow ailment as it does pitchers, but it still takes time. Nady didn't choose an American League destination that offers DH possibilities, so he's going to need to be able to throw a baseball or else settle for pinch hitting in April.