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New York Yankees News: Swisher Extension?, Varitek to Retire, Pettitte Back in Camp

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"Hi. I'm Nick, and I want to be <em>your </em>right fielder in 2013 and beyond."
"Hi. I'm Nick, and I want to be your right fielder in 2013 and beyond."

Ed Valentine wonders whether Nick Swisher's contract should be extended beyond 2012. The short answer: no.

... Swisher will never be better than he has been for the Yankees the past three seasons. He is a patient hitter, as his .374 on-base percentage a season ago suggests. And he does hit for some power. And yes, he is a popular figure.

What Swisher is not, though, is an athletic outfielder. He throws terribly. Yes, his UZR/150 (runs above/below average for 150 games) was +8.8 in 2011, above his career average, but that isn't likely to get any better. It's likely to get worse as he ages.

... the Yankees made a brilliant move getting Swisher from the Chicago White Sox for next-to-nothing before the 2009 season. I think, though, that signing him long-term after this season would be a case of paying relatively big money for a player whose skills will be in decline. The Yankees, quite honestly, have enough of that going on with their roster already.

He makes a fair point, but there isn't any significantly better free agent option for 2013+. If there is (Josh Hamilton perhaps?), he'd cost significantly more.

  • Jason Varitek will retire after 15 seasons and 1546 games with the Red Sox. Interesting that Jorge Posada (in some ways the Yankees' Varitek) also retired this offseason. Despite a career 98 OPS+, he "called a great game."
  • Prospect RHP Adam Warren is set to make the Yankees' first Spring Training start on Friday against the Univ. of South Florida.
  • Andy Pettitte is in Tampa as a "guest instructor," said "things are really good" and that he has no plans for a comeback. He'll throw BP today.
  • The Trenton Thunder hired a new broadcaster, ho hum... but get this, they also hired a "Facilitator of Awesomeness." Yes!