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Thread: Yankees acquire Nick Swisher

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  1. #1
    Veteran jpz17's Avatar
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    Trade Icon Yankees acquire Nick Swisher

    NEW YORK -- Before setting their sights on the rotation holes that are sure to dominate their offseason agenda, the Yankees on Thursday made an acquisition unrelated to their pitching staff. Just hours before they can begin signing free agents, the Bombers instead made a trade, acquiring power-hitting first baseman Nick Swisher from the White Sox for three players. "I know one thing about Nick Swisher from afar," general manager Brian Cashman said. "He's a very competitive player. He's a grinder. He plays at one level at all times."
    Swisher, 27, came to New York in exchange for utility infielder Wilson Betemit and Minor League pitchers Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez. The Yankees also received Minor League reliever Kanekoa Texeira from the White Sox.
    "We're excited with the addition of Nick Swisher," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said in a statement announcing the trade. "We feel he has a ton of upside. He's a patient switch-hitter, adds versatility at a number of defensive positions, including first base and the outfield, and will be a positive presence inside the clubhouse."
    What attracted the Yankees to Swisher was the versatility that saw him play at least 18 games at all three outfield positions, and split the bulk of his time between first base and center field. With Johnny Damon likely to start most games in left field and Xavier Nady in right, Cashman said he envisioned Swisher playing at first base nearly every day.
    Despite playing 70 games in center field last season, Swisher, whom Cashman called an "average" defensive center fielder, is not likely to see much time there next year. He will instead play first base and fill in at the corner outfield positions, where the Yankees consider Swisher a "plus defender."
    "One of the reasons we were attracted to Nick," Cashman said, "is that he's got the flexibility, the versatility to play left, center, right, first. We obviously have a vacancy at first base, but the winter is early."
    It originally seemed as if the Yankees would attempt to fill that void by throwing money at Mark Teixeira, far and away the top free-agent first baseman on the market. And even though Cashman said that the addition of Swisher wouldn't preclude him from pursuing Teixeira, it stands to reason that Girardi's lineup is now all but set heading into 2009.
    Instead of spending money on a first baseman, the Yankees can now focus almost exclusively on pitching -- their top priority all along.


    That's not to say that the Yankees acquired Swisher for free. Marquez ranked among the organization's top pitching prospects heading into 2009, and one of a select few capable of stepping in and helping the big club right away. Despite missing nearly two months last season with a right shoulder strain, Marquez produced an 8-8 record and a 4.47 ERA in 19 games split between Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Double-A Trenton.
    They Yankees also dealt away Betemit, a utilityman who saw most of his playing time at the corner infield positions, and Nunez, a reliever who struck out 26 batters in 19 1/3 Double-A innings following a midseason trade.
    The Yankees received Texeira, who was 6-3 last season with 21 saves and a 1.33 ERA in 51 relief appearances between Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. Those numbers included 20 saves and a 0.93 ERA with Winston-Salem, and a scoreless-innings streak that hit 22 straight appearances before the 22-year-old's promotion.
    Yet from a Yankees perspective, the most intriguing numbers are the 26 homers that Swisher, a former first-round Draft pick of the Athletics, has averaged over his four full big league seasons. As impressive as that is, a steep drop in average and on-base percentage -- he fell more than 40 points in both categories from 2007 to '08 -- made Swisher expendable, and New York offered enough to pry him out of Chicago.
    Cashman was the first to admit the risk of acquiring a player who hit .219 overall last season and .197 from the left side, though he pointed to past seasons for justification. In 2007, Swisher hit .262 with 22 homers, following a career year that saw him hit .262 with 35 home runs in 2005. He has also averaged 93 walks over the past three seasons.
    "The fact of the matter is he had his worst Major League season as an everyday player," Cashman said of 2008, "which probably put him in play for an acquisition."
    The Yankees attempted to acquire Swisher during their search for a first baseman last winter, but they could not convince the Athletics, his employer at the time, to bite. Swisher instead went to the White Sox for three Minor Leaguers, and seemed out of play until his subpar season forced Chicago to look at other options.
    Swisher's reputation as a positive clubhouse presence also intrigued the Yankees, as did his baseball pedigree -- his father, Steve, played nine seasons for the Cubs, Cardinals and Padres. Add that to the fact that Swisher is just entering the prime of his career, and the Bombers seem justified in pursuing a player wholly capable of approaching Jason Giambi's numbers over the past two seasons.
    If nothing else, the acquisition means one less void for the Yankees to fill come Friday, when they can begin to negotiate contracts with free agents.
    "It's early in the winter," Cashman said. "Our main focus is to try to improve our pitching staff, and that has not changed."

    -MLB.com
    I don't know about this move, it's not huge, not like he will be mvp, but he could be a solid backup, not like Yanks gave much up



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    Veteran Paul1355's Avatar
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    I wasn;t high on this move either but he is a switch hitter who can play multiple positions and he is better than Wilson Betemit. Swisher will get 200 at bats next year playing 1st base and the corner outfield spots.

    ONE HUGE PROBLEM is that he is another Jason Giambi...meaning he sucks with runners in scoring position. His average is barely above .200 in any form of situational hitting meaning clutch hitting.

    We have so much talent in the farm system so giving up that guy Marquez isn't a problem. Just that we could have gotten a better back up. I'd rather use Brett Gardner than Swisher...at least Gardner can steal 60 bases a year if he starts and is a good, fast fielder with C average hitting. Swisher is a D+ hitter who hasn't been good since his days in Oakland.

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    Veteran KBlack25's Avatar
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    This is a fantastic trade. Swisher is a switch hitter which in the lineup the Yankees have is an absolutely critical amount of flexibility. In addition, he can play all three OF positions and 1B.

    Last year Swisher lead all switch hitters in HRs and RBI. He's a fantastic fielder, which is important on this team. The Yankees already have a ton of power and hitting ability between Damon, Cano, Jeter and of course Rodriguez. It is likely Abreu will re-sign as well. Hopefully Posada and MAtsui will bounce back from injury. Giving up Wilson Betemit who added nothing to this team besides a servicable utility guy (who are a dime a dozen) for a guy who is a good fielder with decent power and can be a role player for this team is a fantastic trade.

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    Veteran Paul1355's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KBlack25
    This is a fantastic trade. Swisher is a switch hitter which in the lineup the Yankees have is an absolutely critical amount of flexibility. In addition, he can play all three OF positions and 1B.

    Last year Swisher lead all switch hitters in HRs and RBI. He's a fantastic fielder, which is important on this team. The Yankees already have a ton of power and hitting ability between Damon, Cano, Jeter and of course Rodriguez. It is likely Abreu will re-sign as well. Hopefully Posada and MAtsui will bounce back from injury. Giving up Wilson Betemit who added nothing to this team besides a servicable utility guy (who are a dime a dozen) for a guy who is a good fielder with decent power and can be a role player for this team is a fantastic trade.
    WHAT? lol

    Swisher lead all switch hiters in HR's and RBI's....false. Let me explain. I agreed on everything else but here are the facts about Nick "has been" Swisher.

    First off Chipper Jones, who played only 128 games, has 75 RBI's beating swisher for RBI's by a switch hitter. Also Lance Berkman beats Swisher in Hr's as a switch hitter with 29. It's okay, people think Swisher is what he was in Oakland, he isn't.

    But this is the real problem. He is another Jason Giambi.

    He had a batting average of .225 with RISP and .205 with runners on base. He hit great with no runners on base and when the runs didn't even matter. And he hit a lot of solo homeruns just like Giambi did.

    People look at the HR's and RBI's and think that a person is good. Swisher is a choke artist in the clutch. For a backup it's a decent move. If Betemit started he would have popped over 20 hr's, that guy has power.
    So it's not like Swisher really stands out as a great move.

    Betemit was also a switch hitter and we traded him for Swisher. It was an equal trade with us also giving up a minor league prospect. Swisher can play outfield, thats why this move was done.

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    Co-sign with Paul.

    KBlack got TKO'ed.

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    Veteran KBlack25's Avatar
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    Wrong. If you listened to Brian Cashman, the Yankees GM, he said that they made the move for his flexibility in the OF and his ability to play first base. My friend who is a White Sox fan says Swisher is one of the best fielding first basemen in the league. I guarantee Swisher is the opening day starting 1B, and can thrive in the Yankee lineup. He's better than Betemit, that's for sure.

    "Swisher, 27, batted .219 (109-for-497) with 86 runs, 21 doubles, 24 home runs, and 69 RBI in 153 games with the White Sox in 2008, leading all American League switch-hitters in home runs and ranking second in RBI." My apologies, he lead the AMERICAN LEAGUE for switch-hitter HRs. And was second in RBI.

    The Yankees gave up a minor leaguer, but they also GOT a minor leaguer, a minor leaguer who had a 1.33 ERA in single A this year, and is only 22.

    In addition, you guys can talk all you want about clutch hitting or whatever. The fact is clutch hitting is a non-existant anomaly. Any statistician who knows what they are talking about has shown that clutch hitting happens so rarely or with such little carry-over from year to year that it isn't even worth discussing. [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Any statistican that has found clutch hitting ability has found it in extremely small quantities.

    Edit: In addition, even is Swisher IS another Giambi (even though Giambi is a lefty and Swisher is a switch hitter), it's not like the Yanks are paying Swish Giambi-money. Swish made 3.6 mil last year to Giambi's 23.6 mil. Seems like a bargain to me if they get the same guy for 3.6 that they used to get for 23.6.

    Edit 2: Here's some more info on the minor leaguer the Yankees got: "Texeira, 22, was 6-3 with 21 saves and a 1.33 ERA in 51 combined relief appearances with Single-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham, ranking second among White Sox minor leaguers in saves. He was selected as a Carolina League mid- and postseason All-Star, posting a 3-1 record and a 0.93 ERA with Winston-Salem, while recording 20 saves in 23 opportunities. Over his final 22 appearances with the Single-A club (23.1IP), he did not allow an earned run and held opponents to a .176 batting average (15-for-85)."
    Last edited by KBlack25; Nov 15, 2008 at 11:18.

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