The New York Yankees are in dire need of a first baseman. The Chicago White Sox apparently want to possibly ship out Nick Swisher according to this. And if the Yankees are to let Bobby Abreu walk, then the team could have some serious options in the outfield with Matsui, Damon, Nady, Swisher (if needed, in right, at first, DH) and Gardner as a utility outfielder, or Gardner could start in center if he is worthy. I am not advocating that the Yankees MUST trade for Nick Swisher. I am simply saying that he is an option, and can solve a few different problems. The final say would be Brian Cashman pulling the trigger, and what the Yankees would have to give up in order to land Swisher.
The optimist says…Nick Swisher is a much better player than he was this season. And I truly believe that. As random baseball analyst says, Swisher had a definite down year, however his underlying numbers point to a flukey “down year.” Nick Swisher fits nicely into the Yankee “philosophy,” woking the count and getting on base. Not to mention, Swisher does possess some power in his swing. Swisher also happens to be a switch hitter which is always welcome. So the majority of the time he would be aiming at a short porch. Another positive in Swisher is that he is just entering his prime. Obviously, a team wants players as close to their prime as possible, and Swisher is right in the midst of what should be his best seasons. Financially, Swisher is locked up to a club friendly contract, assuming he produces: $5.3 million in 2009, $6.75 in 10,’ and $9 million in 2011 (plus a 2012 option). Then, Swisher being a pretty good player, but nothing special would most likely be allowed to leave via free agency after either 2011, or 2012 depending on if they pick up the option or choose to pay $1 million to let him walk. Looking down the road, he would probably not be worth re-signing for the years in which he would start his decline. Another positive, or negative, depending on how one looks at it, is that Swisher should be more of a “buy-low” than in most years. After all, he had a down year, and should not cost as much as in other productive seasons.
The pessimist…Nick Swisher had a down year, again, a DOWN YEAR. So maybe there is a reason for concern that no one knows about. Maybe he doesn’t care. Maybe he cares more about other aspects of his life. Maybe he hates baseball. Maybe the only reason he was any good, was because of some kind of PED (half-joking, but it can never be ignored it seems).
Another downside is that Swisher does strike out quite a bit, however not like a Ryan Howard or Adam Dunn do, just enough to make most fans hate him during his slumps. And as a career .244 hitter, fans might hate him a little more. But I am worried about OBP, and Swisher has always done that well. The casual fan does not seem to care about the walks, just the strikeouts and batting average. But then again, this isn’t really about the “casual” fan.
Nick Swisher is simply an “option” for a team that needs a few pieces. Go after Teixera first, but there is a price that not every team will be willing to agree to. If Tex wants $200 million, then I would be hesitant to give, even if I was the most financially adept? major league club. And of course, the price that the Yankees would have to succumb to matters a lot.
Of course, Swisher is a need that other teams have, too. The Mets could use him at a corner outfield spot for a year, then move him to first when Delgado leaves after the season. And others could use him as well. Swisher is nothing special, but I believe he will be a solid major leaguer for the remainder of his contract. And the Yankees popped in my head first, probably because they are the team most closely related to a Red Sox fans mind.