Nick Swisher is a good baseball player, a great clubhouse presence, and absolutely loves being a part of the New York Yankees. And currently, he's also slated to become a Type A free agent if the Yankees decide to part ways with him after the 2011 season.
Type A free agents are valuable to the clubs that have them. In compensation for their losses, teams receive the signing team's first round draft pick (or second round pick if their draft pick is protected) and a supplemental round pick.
Nick Swisher has been nothing short of above average, and maybe even better, for the Yankees since 2009. He has hit, prior to last night's game, .269/.370/.485 while providing above average defense during his tenure with the Yankees. Currently, his baseball-reference dWAR is 1.6 and UZR has him at 10.7.
Now, if the Yankees decline Swisher's 2012 option and offer him arbitration, there could be a decent chance he accepts. If he doesn't accept it, MLB Trade Rumors thinks it may be an issue.
If he declines and signs with another club, the Yankees receive two draft picks. But what will they do?
I think the Yankees will pick up his option and hope he contines to play the way he has over the last three seasons, especially since the free agent market for right fielders is weak. Since that's the case, I would expect the Yankees to look for a right fielder through trade in order to replace him.
This is an interesting problem to have for the Yankees. If Swisher stays a Type A free agent, is it worth the chance of cutting ties with him for a top pick and a supplemental pick? Or is one year of Swisher more important to the Yankees with their win now mentality?
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