The acquisition of Nick Swisher is an excellent move for the New York Yankees.
No, Swisher is not an All-Star. He is a good, useful player coming off a bad season (.219).
When I look at this deal the Yankees I can’t help but think about another deal the Yankees made about a decade ago for a good player coming off a horrible season. Scott Brosius hit .203 for Oakland in 1997. In 1998 he drove in 100 runs for the Yankees and ended up playing third base on three world championship teams.
To me, the Swisher deal is similar. I can only hope it works out nearly as well.
Hopefully, this also signals a return to the philosophy the Yankees used during those championship days. Fill your lineup with good players instead of superstars, and concentrate on building a pitching staff that gives you a chance to win every day.
The switch-hitting Swisher, who will be 28 next season, can play first base and all three outfield slots. GM Brian Cashman indicated Thursday that Swisher is likely to play first base. That, of course, is bad news for Mark Teixeira.
He could also spend some time at any of the outfield slots, giving manager Joe Girardi some lineup flexibility he did not have last season.
In my opinion, the Yankees gave up virtually nothing for Swisher. Wilson Betemit is a useless reserve infielder who plays a lot of positions — all badly. The White Sox must think more highly of AAA pitcher Jeff Marquez than the Yankees do, and Jhonny Nunez appears to be a throw-in. The Yankees also received 22-year-old relief pitcher Kanekoa Texeira.
Swisher won’t hit .300 (his career batting average is .244). He will hit 20+ home runs, drive in around 80 runs and draw a lot of walks (.354 career OBP). Plus, he is signed to a reasonable 5-year contract that will pay him about $5 million annually through 2011.
I can’t find anything not to like about this trade.
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