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November 14, 2008 at 8:28 am ET
19 Comments
Swisher deal good for the Yankees

Nick SwisherThe 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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19 Responses to “Swisher deal good for the Yankees”
  1. billy says:

    I think that this move might be the precursor to a deal with the Mariners?

    The Yankees can send Hideki and Ian Kennedy, maybe with another low level prospect to the M’s for Kenji Johjima and Eric Bedard.

    This would let Swisher and Gardner play in CF, and allows Posada to be a fulltime DH……and Damon move to LF.

  2. Ed Valentine says:

    Yes, it might be the beginning of some things. But, Bedard? The guy just had shoulder surgery and might or might not be ready for spring training. That’s a huge risk and I just don’t see it.

  3. billy says:

    it’s not like Matsui is a picture of health himself.

  4. B.E. Earl says:

    I like this deal alot. Besides everything that you said, Swisher is supposed to be a great guy in and out of the clubhouse. I like the proposed deal by billy up there, but I still see them needing one more bat. I will once again say that it should be the Big Donkey…Adam Dunn. Him batting ahead or behind of A-Rod just screams 50 dingers to me.

  5. Jeff says:

    Yeah, I like this deal also. I also found it very similar to the Brosius trade.

    Billy, are you just making stuff up or what?

  6. Ed Valentine says:

    Earl, you might be right about needing one more bat. Of course, if Posada and Matsui stay healthy, and Cano has a good year, they have enough. Those are all huge IFs, though. I’m just not sold on Dunn, but you never know.

  7. billy says:

    No, was a trade I thought they should make.

    as for Dunn, where would he play ??? The Yankees are loaded with lf/1b/dh types. I assume they will go after Tex….

  8. Ed Valentine says:

    From all I can gather the only way the Yanks go after Teixeira is if the price & number of years drops significantly. All indications are the only big money they really want to spend is on pitching. Buster Olney has a nice piece on that today — http://insider.espn.go.com/esp.....ney_buster

  9. B.E. Earl says:

    Where would you play Dunn?

    RF would be my first choice. Now that they have Swisher to play 1B, you have Nady in LF and some combination of Gardner/Damon in CF. RF in the new Yankee stadium will be the smallest of the OF spots to cover so that will hide some of his range issues. And he has a decent arm…not great, but decent. All in all I think he could do just as well in RF as Abreu did. And he might not be afraid of the wall like Bobby was. Plus all those dingers that I mentioned. Teixiera is better. Granted. But if they don’t want to spend the money, then Dunn might be a good second choice.

  10. Mattchu! says:

    I’m curious as to why the Yankees should keep Nady. Don’t get me wrong, the guy did a pretty nice job last season. But, does anybody really expect him to keep that up?

    I’d say sell him off while he is at a high point, coming off the best year of his career. Surely he can be part of a package for a trade. I heard a rumor that the Padres could be interested in a package of Kei Igawa, Ian Kennedy, and an outfielder for Peavy over on River Ave Blues. Make Nady that outfielder and throw in another prospect or something, imagine Sabathia-Peavy-Wang! With Joba and Hughes still around? That’s like the best young rotation ever!

    While I’m not going to hold my breath for that deal, I don’t see why we shouldn’t give up Nady in some other deal that brings something in. Move Swisher to right field, and make a big offer to Mark Teixeira to play first base.

    1. Johnny Damon – LF
    2. Derek Jeter – SS
    3. Mark Teixeira – 1B
    4. Alex Rodriguez – 3B
    5. Hideki Matsui – DH
    6. Jorge Posada – C
    7. Nick Swisher – RF
    8. Robinson Cano – 2B
    9. Melky Cabrera/Brett Gardner – CF

    I don’t see why it couldn’t happen. There was a ton of interest in Nady at the Trade Deadline, I think a lot of teams (the Royals for instance, the Mets are another) looking for an alternative to the oft-injured Milton Bradley or the insanity that is Manny Ramirez.

  11. Mattchu! says:

    I’ve got your deal. The Yankees trade Xavier Nady to the Colorado Rockies for Huston Street, it’s not like the Rockies are looking to keep him from what I read. I know there are people on here in the thought that Street replaces Fuentes, but I think Manny Corpas will do that.

    They just traded away Matt Holliday, Nady is cheap and could be package with another prospect or something. And the Yankees slot Street into that eighth inning role, and he and Mo would be nearly as good as Joba and Mo were in 2007. That puts the whole “we need Joba in the bullpen” argument to rest, it’s cheaper to get an eighth inning man than an Ace, so it makes sense to leave Joba in the rotation and acquire a reliever, regardless of where he’d be best suited.

    Yeah, I think I like the sound of that.

  12. Jeff says:

    Mattchu,

    You do realize that Peavy has been playing in the worst division in the worst league in baseball right? That makes him one of the best of the worst pitchers in baseball. The Padres can keep him, I’d rather get someone tried and tested (CC. Lowe, Burnett). Peavy knows this fact himself, that’s why he was hesitant to list any AL teams on his list of acceptable trade teams. If he knows what’s good for his career he’ll stay in the NL. If the Yanks can get him for a bag of peanuts and some bats, then I’d say OK. Come to think of it that’s about all Igawa and Kennedy are worth anyways…fire away Cash.

  13. CC in NY 09 says:

    Good assessment, Ed. Just a little correction: Swisher is guaranteed $5.3/6.75/9.0 M for the next three years – that’s $7M per year. Even with this trade, I’d still prefer they still go after Texeira and place Swisher in LF and Damon as DH. I’m big fan of Matsui but it’s time for him to go, preferably for a role player or two to replenish the bench.

  14. Ed Valentine says:

    CC, I just looked at the total and divided it. So, yeah, he is a little more expensive than I thought, but still not bad at all.

  15. Mattchu! says:

    Hey Jeff, I’m not saying let’s pass on CC. I’m just saying, if we could get him for that package (and I’m not saying we can), I’ll take him and see what he can do.

  16. coops2001 says:

    From what I’ve heard, the Yankees make money on Matsui, or come close to breaking even, given the significant Japanese media following and advertising placement.

    That said, while his regular season numbers, when healthy, look good, his post season performance since game 4 of the 2004 ALCS is abismal, with only 2 RBI in his last 47 post season at bats.

  17. Yu-Hsing Chen says:

    swapping for Johjima is a pretty big risk as well, as he’s owed a decent amount of cash while comming off a attrocious year. I think he’ll bounce back some, but I think all they really need is a strait up Matsui for Johjima swap (maybe) .

    personally though, Jorge Posada’s value as a DH or 1B is pretty poor. he’s a good hitter but would only be averagish at best as a DH.

    come to think of this, I wouldn’t like it, Johjima’s still owed 3/24, that’s A LOT, way too much for a backup catcher. he was more unlucky than bad this year that’s true though. Matsui is owed just 1/13, and might net you a draft pick or two as well afterwards. if this was a trade where the M’s are dying to get Johjima out then I would suggest Matsui + Igawa for Johjima instead.

  18. Yu-Hsing Chen says:

    As for Swisher, they should hope to angel him as the LF, and bank on Johnny Damon in a walk year to be adequet in CF. with the backup of Cabrera / Gardner it should be passable enough.

    Teixeira would be most ideal, of course, if they need to skip somewhere do it on back rotations .

  19. Luis says:

    the yankees should get Manny Ramirez no question
    starting lineup
    1.Johnny Damon DH
    2. Dereck Jeter ss
    3. Alex Rodriguez 3b
    4. Manny Ramirez LF
    5. Mark Teixeira 1B
    6. Nardy Xavier RF
    7. George Posada C
    8. Robinson Cano 2B
    9. Melky Cabrera CF
    Starting Pitcher
    CC Sabathia

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