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Thoughts VIII


If 2013 comes and Nick Swisher is wearing another uniform, I can't say that I would be surprised. While at least some effort will probably be made to bring him back, I could see another team beating the Yankees' offer. If you buy the $189M by 2014 idea, Swisher seems like a logical place to cut costs. It won't be Robinson Cano. It probably won't be Curtis Granderson.

As a general rule, staying away from giving new contracts to guys on the wrong side of thirty is smart baseball. This is a lesson that the Yankees have learned the hard way the past few decades. Time goes in one direction and Nick Swisher is at the tail end of his prime years. In the next few years, the smart money would be on him losing a step on defense and some bat speed at the plate.

I don't know who plays right field for the Yankees in 2013, but if it's not Nick Swisher, I'll get it. The concept of letting a good player sign with another team is pretty foreign to this franchise, so here's what I'm saying: we have a really good right fielder, enjoy it while it lasts.

As a player who has always been more of a compliment than a focal point, I feel like some of Swisher's quality has been overlooked. He's the Yankee who acts like a clown all the time! But here's some numbers since Swisher arrived with the Yankees in 2009:

Nick Swisher: .268/.365/.486 / 99 HR / 125 wRC+ / 13.6 fWAR
Alex Rodriguez: .277/.366/.491 / 91 HR / 129 wRC+ / 14.1 fWAR

A-Rod isn't the A-Rod of years past, but he's still a pretty damn good baseball player. If Nick Swisher is producing like A-Rod, he's doing pretty well for himself. While watching Curtis Granderson slowly morph into Mark Teixeira at the plate, I'm not sure which aging outfielder I'd bet on to stay productive longer. There are obvious risks with both of them and at least one of them is probably gone at the end of the season.

As a testament to his consistency, Swisher has accumulated between 3.2 and 4.1 fWAR in five of the last six seasons. At 2.6 fWAR at this point in 2012, he is on pace to reach that mark again, barring a late season slump. The only outlier season was 2008, his disastrous season with the White Sox that allowed the Yankees to acquire him for a handshake, smile, and Betemit.

Buying low on Swisher has been one of the most fruitful moves of the Cashman era. Will he double down or look to go in another direction? Either way, we got four cheap years of Nick Swisher being a great player for practically nothing.