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25 Chasing 28: Nick Swisher and the New York Yankees roster

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"Is that Alex sidling up to Joanna?"
"Is that Alex sidling up to Joanna?"

Nicholas Thompson Swisher, born November 25, 1980

Contract status: Owed $9M in 2011 with a club option for '12 at $10.25M

2010 in Review: .288/.359/.511, 4.1 WAR, 133 wRC+

The Good: Nick Swisher kind of gets lost in the shuffle of future Hall of Famers and perennial All-Stars on the Yankees, but according to WAR, he was the fourth best player (not just batter) on the team last year, behind Cano, CC and Gardner. The trade in which he was acquired from Chicago will go down as one of Cashman's best. In 2010, Swisher sought to become more of a contact hitter, and (partly) succeeded, having the highest BA of his career. He's also incredibly consistent and healthy: His OPS has ranged from .835 to .870 four of the last five years and he hasn't played fewer than 150 games since '05, hitting the DL just once in his ML career.

The Bad: Swish didn't become quite the contact hitter he hoped for, leading the team in strikeouts - for the second straight year - with 139. He also has no speed: He attempted three steals and was successful once. His batting line may have been luck-assisted, as his BABIP was a career high .335 (compared to .286 overall). Swish's walk rate (9.1%) was the lowest of his career, as were the pitches-per-PA he saw (4.02). But these are slight negatives - there's not much to dislike about Nicky overall.

2011 Outlook: Entering his age 30 season, there's no reason to expect anything less than another excellent year from our right-fielder. He's consistent, healthy, can hit anywhere in the lineup and plays solid defense. He's the full package. The only question is whether the Yanks will pick up his option following the season. Assuming he has a normal Swisher-esque year, there's no reason not to.