Bay Area calls some ex-Yankees

Friday evening open thread
Sickels' Top Yankees' Prospects List

While the Yankees are sleeping soundly this week knowing that their Christmas presents are safe and sound in New York, across the coast, some former Yankees are making headlines. In concrete news, the Giants have signed the Big Unit to a one-year, $8-million deal. He will join a rotation that includes Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Barry Zito and Jonathan Sanchez. If the team can find some offense, they may just have the pitching to compete in the NL West in 2009. The Giants appear to be a potential trade partner for the Yanks in their efforts to move a spare outfielder.

Across the Bay, we know that the A’s are interested in bringing back Jason Giambi, and according to recent reports, they’ve been in touch with Bobby Abreu too. Abreu is the classic Billy Beane guy. He’s a high-OBP outfielder who should come at a decent price. The A’s would be well served to have both Giambi and Abreu around for 2009.

Friday evening open thread
Sickels' Top Yankees' Prospects List
  • Sam

    rJ was underrated while in nyc. I wish him luck in the bay area. I feel he was treated unfairly by the press. He was solid, even if his second year era did not reflect it

    • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Don Dodda

      Sam, I agree. I hated The Unit before he got here. He did it to us time and time again when we faced him. When he got here he was not the same pitcher. He had knee and back injurys that most people would retire from yet still pitched pretty much every start (I recall once he did not and got in a shouting match with Torre who forced him out of the lineup)

      He tried hard, won I think 17 games both years (somebody check me on that) and gave us some solid pitching most of the time. He was not an ace and most people expected an ace but he did his job.

      I feel Cashman did a good job trading for him, and then trading him back.

      One year at 8 mill plus incentives in this day and age is a good deal for him, wish we could have gotten him for that.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        (somebody check me on that)

        It;s really quite simple:

        (You were right).

        • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Don Dodda

          I did not see the need to check for me persoanlly, but a few people here usually get bent out of shape if the numbers are off to any slight degree in my posts. I recalled he won that many games but I could have been off a game or two, I do not have a photographic memory.

          But thanks for checking.

  • Ryan S.

    So if we traded away Swisher to San Francisco, what are some of the guys we might be looking at to get in return?

    • Ben K.

      Swisher isn’t going to be traded. The Yanks didn’t bring him in to trade him, and Nady is the prime candidate to go. I could very well be wrong, but it’s probably a waste of time to even debate the issue. I’d say the Yanks would move Nady, Matsui, Damon, Swisher in that order.

      • Ryan S.

        I was just going off of that Giants article link that was posted. Let’s say then that its Nady or Matsui (not likely) that we might trade off to the Giants (despite Sabean apparently not liking players in their walk years) … what would be the guys we’re looking at in return then?

        • Ben K.

          Not clear right now. It’s hard to say what the market is, and I don’t really know what the Giants have to offer.

          • Ryan S.

            Ben, do you see any good reason to trade away Nady? I know we have an excess of corner OF/1B/DH type players, but that doesn’t necessarily seem like such a bad thing to me. The most tradeable guy, Nady, also costs us the least to retain. What would we want in return? A defensive middle infield utility type? B level position prospects?

            • Ben K.

              To tell you the truth, I don’t really see a need to trade away one of these guys quite yet. No harm in waiting until the season starts if the Yanks really feel they have too many players for too few positions.

              I’m also not sure the team will want to trade away Nady because they had to give up Jose Tabata, a fairly prized possession in his own right, to acquire Nady. It may just be a matter of making that deal pay off too.

              • Ryan S.

                Don’t forget about Jeff Karstens – I always liked that kid and he did pretty good once he got traded over to Pittsburgh. I think he’s being penciled in to the back end of their rotation next year, I’m hope he kicks ass.

                Anyway, I agree, I don’t see a reason to actively trade away anyone. Everyone can be useful. I think the biggest question is who wins the starting RF job, Swisher or Nady?

                • Colin

                  karstens sucks. and i would hope swisher would win the job. i wouldnt mind seeing whether swisher or damon could alternate between lf and cf with gardner/melky filling in occasionally

                • Nick

                  Why not have a good bench???

                  Swisher will still get 400+ at bats as a 4th OF, DH.

                • tomaconda

                  Melky has no more options left so if he is not your center fielder for 2009 than we need to keep swisher as he is the only one who can play center with league average defense. I say keep them all except the melk man and have swisher as your 4th OF and backup 1b. Also make a great late inning pinch hitter. Then all the Yankees would need is some speed on the bench that can fill in at 3rd 2nd and ss.

              • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Don Dodda

                Ben I agree with your logic here. I think the only way they NEED to trade a guy is if they need to free up money. I think Matsui would have to be half way payed for if traded (possibly more) so that would only save us 6.5 mill. Nady will be making what 6 million or so? Damon fills a need. Swisher could play a corner OF spot, DH some, backup at first, and be a possible backup at CF.

                Swisher allows some flexibility in case of injury, old age catching up to some guys, or just poor play or rest for some guys.

                Unless we have to dump money, OR we are going to get Manny, I see no reason to trade anybody YET.

          • pounder

            Aaron Rowand.Please Cash,do it.

            • Matt

              Not in a million years would I want Aaron Rowand on the Yankees.

      • Viasistina

        One more time you guys are trying like mad to trade the Yankees youngest starting outfielder from a team that has two broken down aging outfielders. Please recall that you tried to move both of them to first base last year before the Yankees went out and obtained not one but two first basemen.
        Nady is young…comes cheap this year and is the prototype major league outfielder. The reason the Yankees traded for Nady hasnt gone away. It’s actually gotten worse with the loss of Abreu. they need solid outfielders.

        • Matt

          1. Nady is older than Swisher.
          2. Swisher is better than Nady.
          3. There is a surplus of outfielders now that Tex has been signed.
          4. Nady is a slightly above average player who is the easiest of the four to move.

      • emac2

        Swisher could be an acceptable utility guy but saying he won’t be traded because because we just got him seems to forget that we just signe dTex to take his spot.

        He isn’t good enough to start for this team at either outfield corner or 1st and he makes to much to keep as a utility guy in the current market.

        • Matt

          Not good enough to start for the team? Are you mental? He’s a bitter hitter and fielder than Xavier Nady, not to mention younger. This idea of Swisher as a utility guy is moronic.

          • emac2

            I agree. He is way to expensive to be a utility guy. I just mean he has the ability to fill that role if we can’t get anyone to take him.

            My point was simply that he isn’t good enough to pay 10 million a year. The man has a large body of work that proves he cannot hit.

            • Matt

              Actually, this season, as a corner OF, Nick Swisher is valued at about 2.41 Wins over Replacement by my calculations (more coming soon via my blog). So, if we value a win at $5MM, his performance is worth $12.05MM.

              And, he has a large body of work that shows he can hit. His career OBP is .354. That’s good. His career SLG is .451. That’s good. He’s hit at least 20 homers in each of the last four years, three of which were in an unfavorable environment for hitters. That’s also good. He’s had at least 80 walks every year since 2006. That’s good, too. His .287 career EQA is also good, along with his .347 career wOBA.

              So, yeah, he can hit. And he’s worth the money. And better than Xavier Nady.

              • emac2

                I would also like to point out that OBP isn’t a measure of hitting. Swisher is very good at not swinging at anything unless it is well in his strike zone but hasn’t proven he can hit what is in his zone at an acceptable rate. What good is a hitter whose claim to fame is letting bad pitchers walk him in unimportant games? To me this is a sign that he can see well and has good mental control but doesn’t have the skill needed to hit a baseball well.

                This also leads me to believe that he isn’t able to hit against good pitchers.

                I think your argument is the curse of arbitration where you take a Giambi and say he was paid 22 mil and since Swisher had the same average and half the home runs he is worth 11 mil.

                None of this works. value is based on comparables on the market right now and those do not support swisher at anywhere near 10 per year.

                Your statement of the good 451 slugging percentage needs some context. Do you really think a 451 slugging percentage gets you 10 mil in free agency?

                I do agree he has some value as a player but not at 10 mil a year long term.

                • Matt

                  “I would also like to point out that OBP isn’t a measure of hitting. Swisher is very good at not swinging at anything unless it is well in his strike zone but hasn’t proven he can hit what is in his zone at an acceptable rate. What good is a hitter whose claim to fame is letting bad pitchers walk him in unimportant games? To me this is a sign that he can see well and has good mental control but doesn’t have the skill needed to hit a baseball well.”

                  So taking pitches has become a bad thing? Cool. Do you have anything to back up this “good pitcher/bad pitcher” thing? Somehow, I think not. Swisher most definitely hits the ball well. His LD% for his career is 19.0%, which is over league average.

                  “I think your argument is the curse of arbitration where you take a Giambi and say he was paid 22 mil and since Swisher had the same average and half the home runs he is worth 11 mil.’

                  No, it’s not. It’s based on turning his projected wOBA into runs and in turn, turning those runs into wins above average and replacement, and valuing those wins.

                  “None of this works. value is based on comparables on the market right now and those do not support swisher at anywhere near 10 per year.”

                  Why don’t they? I just showed that his projected performance values him at $12 mil and change.

                  “Your statement of the good 451 slugging percentage needs some context. Do you really think a 451 slugging percentage gets you 10 mil in free agency?”

                  If it comes with good fielding, which Swisher has, and a good eye, which Swisher also has, then yes, it does. He also has flexibility of position and the fact that he’s still in his 20’s.

                • emac2

                  “So taking pitches has become a bad thing? Cool.”

                  Yeah, that’s what I said.

                • Matt

                  How, pray-tell, is taking pitches a bad thing? Working counts tires out the pitcher and working walks, which gets guys on base which leads to…run scoring! How is taking pitches a bad thing?

  • Nick

    Is Bens dad till crying?

  • canadian tuxedo

    agreed karstens does suck. I get the feeling the consensus is that swisher is better than nady but I just dont see it

    • Nick

      Swisher is no Nady.

      • tomaconda

        Like comparing apples and oranges as hitters. Swisher is more patient and has more raw power. He goes deep into counts and because of it walks and ks alot. Nady is a hard nosed player who swings to kill the ball if he sees a pitch he likes. Both are capable of an .850 ops next year. Swisher is more valuable defensively not only because he plays more positions but because he plays any of them better than Nady.

        • emac2

          You forget to mention that one of them gets a hit 20% more often than the other.

          I’ll never get how some stat people get so caught up on OBP they forget that a hit is indeed better than a walk.

          • Sweet Dick Willie

            a hit is indeed better than a walk.

            This is a false statement. To make it a true statement, it would have to be changed to “a hit is sometimes better than a hit.

            Leading off an inning, a single is no better than a walk. With two outs and a runner on third, a single is indeed better than a walk. So it depends on the situation.

            The reason “some stat people get so caught up on OBP” is that they understand that there are only 27 outs allotted per game, and not making one in your plate appearance is the most valuable thing you can do (although there are degrees of valuable, e.g., a home run is indeed more valuable than a walk). OBP is simply the percentage of ABs that a batter does not make an out.

            Thus, a batter with 280/380/400 is indeed more value than one with 300/330/400, because the former made on out 62% of the time while the latter made an out 67% of the time.

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              “a hit is sometimes better than a walk. Sorry.

              • emac2

                If you are a stat guy, how do you plug stats into any of your models if you don’t get the exception rule?

                Hits are better than walks period!

                That doesn’t mean every hit is better than every walk but it does mean that as a whole hits are better than walks.

                Some doubles are better than triples but if you actually try to understand someones point instead of looking for the exception to the rule regardless of it’s relevance to the point you are just wasting everyones time and ruining a good discussion.

                • Sweet Dick Willie

                  Hits are better than walks period!

                  That doesn’t mean every hit is better than every walk

                  No, that’s exactly what it means. If you mean something else, then please articulate it.

                  I gave you a specific example where a walk was as good as a hit, and there are many more. There are also many instances where a hit is indeed better than a walk, so as I said earlier, it depends on the situation.

                  I think the discussion would be better served if you acknowledged those differences.

                • emac2

                  I think the conversation would be best served if there was an ignore button for people who want to divert discussion away from subjects and into semantics.

                • Ben K.

                  Except you’re not arguing semantics. You’re arguing a fundamental element of baseball analysis and team-building, and you’re wrong.

                • emac2

                  Not true at all but if it is that unclear I’ll explain.

                  A hit is more valuable than a walk. This is true as a whole (on average through a season) and if you are making generalizations about the value of certai stats you wouls say the hit has more value because xhile a hit can only be as valuable as a walk a walk is never more valuable than a hit.

                  The point was that the extra hits generated by a player are more valuable than a comparable number of walks.

                  That was the only point being made and the lame attaempt to make me apoligize because there are times when a walk is just as valuable as a hit is a waste of time and an attempt to misunderstand and stall a conversation instead of furthering one.

                • Sweet Dick Willie

                  Some doubles are better than triples

                  An example, please , because I can’t think of one.

            • emac2

              No – It is not a false statement but I’m not here to debate english.

              • Sweet Dick Willie

                No – It is not a false statement but I’m not here to debate english.

                It has nothing to do with English, other than your ability to understand it.

                I just showed you a scenario where a hit is NOT better than a walk, so that makes the statement false.

                For a statement to be true, it must be true in all instances, and yours clearly isn’t.

      • Mike A.

        Nady: 108 career OPS+
        Swisher: 112

        And Swisher has spent his entire career in the big boy league, unlike Nady who’s been in the AL for three months.

        • Steve H

          And Swisher’s splits vs. LHP and RHP aren’t extreme like Nady’s, so he’s more consistent as a 500 ab player. Swisher is no Nady, he’s better.

          • emac2

            Nady costs 5 mil and is then gone. Swisher costs 5 mil and then starts earning far more than a comparable replacement.

            Swisher has to be traded before his value plummets with the rest of the corner guys on the market.

            • Steve H

              Why will his value plummet? He’s coming off his worst season, by far, so Cashman bought him low as is. If he gets back to being the Swisher of old, who earned that contract, his value will get back to where it once was. He’s in his prime, so it’s not inconceivable that he’ll come back from this as a one year blip. Swisher has hit 20+ Hr’s 4 straight seasons, Nady has done it twice in his career. Swisher hit 35 one year, in Oakland. Nady’s career high is 25. Above you talk about a hit being better than a walk. Well it is, but OPS+ is a better metric than Avg., and yet it still underweighs OBP, though Swisher outperforms Nady in OPS+. And please, address Nady’s hitting against RHP’s, whom he faces about 75% of the time. Swisher is 2 years younger than Nady, yet has accomplished a lot more in his career. Swisher > Nady but just about all important metrics. The only metric Nady has an advantage is Avg., which even if it was very important, would not make up for Swisher’s lead in everything else.

              • emac2

                His trade value plummets automatically when his salary justs from 5 mil to 10 mil.

                His value is completely destroyed if he starts next season the way he played last year.

                As far as buying low, what do you think about people who purchased stocks at all time lows 6 months ago? Buying low is a big gamble.

                I would prefer to trade both of them so I don’t really need to feel the need to defend either. I would trade Nady because I do not plan to resign him and think a club who would consider signing him might give us something reasonable in trade for the discount test drive.

                If I was going to defend Nady over Swisher it wouldn’t have anything to do with hitting. It would have to do with 5 million vs 40 million and since neither player interests me long term I get rid of the bigger number.

                As for stats and their comparitive value? I have minimum standards in most stats because I want well rounded players. Hitters who cannot get a base hit well over 25% of the time are not welcome.

                • Matt

                  Nick Swisher is a well rounded hitter. Sure, he may not get a hit more than 24.4% of the time, but he gets on base 35.4% of the time, which is, in fact, pretty good.

                  More well roundedness at the plate: he has some power! He’s hit at least 20 homers in the last four years, three of which came in playing for the Oakland A’s. A little fun:
                  2005: Home homers: 11, Away homers: 10; 2006: Home homers 17, Away homers: 18. 2007 and 2008 were a little away/home skewed respectively, but the latter doesn’t trouble me much because he’ll be playing in a hitter’s park again.

                  He’s got a career .288 EQA and a career .347 wOBA. Again, above average marks.

                  Want defense? He’s got a career UZR/150 games in LF of 6.3. In RF? 14.2.

                  Nick Swisher is plenty well rounded as a player. And he’s better than Xavier Nady.

                • emac2

                  ohhh – 20 home runs!

                  Is 10 million a year enough?

                  Do you get the idea that Nady is 5 mil for one year and Swisher comes closer to 40 million for the next 3?

                  Swisher would have to be much much better and I don’t agree that he is more than marginally better if that. nady shows an improving trend and Swisher appears to have peaked and be in decline.

                  You can make excuses for why he seems to suck more and more but the bottom line is that one player is cheaper and getting better and the other is expensive and getting worse.

                • Matt

                  1. How does Swisher seem to be getting worse? He had a bad season last year BA wise, but relative to that, his OBP was great and he walked over 80 times.

                  2. I don’t think Nady is “getting better.” He had a hot part of the season and totally faded at the end, gravitating back to his normal performance. He’s also older than Swisher.

                  3. Yeah, 20 homers is pretty good considering the lineup he’s going to be in. He won’t need to be the primary threat and along with 35-45 from A-Rod, 30-35 from Tex, 20-25 from Posada…you get the point.

                  4. As for the value thing, see my above post.

                  Nick Swisher is better than Xavier Nady, even at his “high” cost. For that, see above.

                • emac2

                  If last year isn’t enough how about a 3 year decline in ops?

                  Nady had his best year last year. That is by definition getting better. And how does Nady at 5 mil compare to Swish at 30?

                  “Yeah, 20 homers is pretty good considering the lineup he’s going to be in.” Man, that’s just dumb! No one is worth 10 mil because of the lineup they are going to be in.

                  and guess what – Because you have some metric that says it’s true doesn’t mean it is. More often than not it means you are using too few stats to leap to too many conclusions.

                • Ben K.

                  Seriously, this Swish at 30/Swish at 10 line is completely misleading. At no point during the duration of his contract is he set to make $10 million, and he isn’t due $30 million either. He’s due $5.3 in 2009, $6.75 in 2010 and $9 million in 2011. Are you just making up numbers?

                  You’re also conveniently ignoring the fact that Xavier Nady’s final numbers in New York last year weren’t impressive. He had a good half season in Pittsburgh and struggled a bit in New York. How do you feel about that?

                • Matt

                  “If last year isn’t enough how about a 3 year decline in ops?

                  Nady had his best year last year. That is by definition getting better. And how does Nady at 5 mil compare to Swish at 30?”

                  That three year decline in OPS is fair enough, but that happened because of a drop in his SLG. His OBP dropped a lot in the last year but that happened because of a drop in batting average. What’s encouraging about Swisher’s down year last year was that he hit the ball hard (highest career LD%) and the diff. between is OBP and BA was the same as it was in 06 and 07.

                  “Man, that’s just dumb! No one is worth 10 mil because of the lineup they are going to be in.”

                  My sentence is about home runs, not cost. My point is, 20 home runs out of a guy who’s gonna hit anywhere from 6-9 in the order doesn’t need to hit 30+ homers. Nick Swisher is worth this theoretical $10MM to me because of his eye, his pop, and his usefulness at both outfield corners, where he plays well.

      • Matt

        No, Swisher is no Nady. Swisher is better than Nady.

  • canadian tuxedo

    there is something about a career 240 hitter that rubs me the wrong way

  • Nick

    Swisher would be a great bench player. If you’re going to spend 200+ you should have a great bench

    • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Don Dodda

      Agreed. He could also be used more than a bench player. He could be a super utility type guy for the OF (except there is nothing super about his OF play)

      I am not a Nick Swisher fan, and was not looking forward to him playing the OF, but the trade was a good one as long as he plays 1/3 to 2/3rds of a normal season. Keep him involved, and keep everybody else fresh.

      • Matt

        Swisher is more than a bench player. He is a full time player who fits the Yankees very well–very patient and a little power–and he’s a good defender on the corners. I don’t think he should be put in center field, but his defense in right and left is great.

        Why do you only want him to play 1/3 or 2/3 of a season? Swisher averages 28 jacks and 91 walks per 162 games. He’s definitely a full time player. Using Nady over him would be an absolute waste.

        Swisher is a better hitter and a better corner outfielder.

        • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Don Dodda

          “Why do you only want him to play 1/3 or 2/3 of a season?”

          Because I think he would be best suited for this. He has shown that he can play many different positions, some of them well some not so great, none great and none horrible.

          We have NO bench as of right now and I would like to see him be moved around to give people rest and to keep himself in playing shape in case he needs to become the full time first baseman, corner OF spot or play CF for more than a few games (all due to injury or possibly trade in the case of corner OF job)

          “Swisher averages 28 jacks and 91 walks per 162 games. He’s definitely a full time player.”

          You could use that line of logic or the one where he was horrible last year? If he proved to be better than the time I was giving him guess what? I would GIVE HIM MORE TIME and MORE AT BATS. I also think injury to somebody or more than one player will dictate him to get more than 200 plate appearances. I would be fine with him getting 200 to 400 at bats as this team is currently constructed (that construction is not done I hope so that could change in either direction)

          “Swisher is a better hitter and a better corner outfielder.”

          That is very debatable, if not out right false.

          Swisher needs to prove to the me (the fan), the world, the Yankees and himself that last year was not who he is.

          • Matt

            “That is very debatable, if not out right false. ”

            Career UZR’s in RF/LF
            Swisher: 14.5/6.2
            Nady: 1.1/-0.6

            Swisher’s a better corner OF.

            Various career batting stats:
            Swisher: .244/.354/.451/.805
            Nady: .280/.335/.458/.793

            Swisher loses one of four categories, obviously winning three. So, better hitter.

            “I would be fine with him getting 200 to 400 at bats as this team is currently constructed (that construction is not done I hope so that could change in either direction)”

            Using Swisher for only 200-400 at bats would be a horrible mis-use of his talent. In fact, it’d be inexcusable to use him for that few ABs. He’s a better offensive AND defensive option than the current starting RF (Nady). He’s also a switch hitter, which is awesome and a half.

            • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Don Dodda

              Matt, you are using CAREER stats. If a guy hits .220 in a season, and you call him better than Nady, I need TO SEE IT HAPPEN IN 2009 to believe it.

              You do not hit .220 and not become a suspect player in some way. Make up or use whatever super duper stat you can, .220 is not the sign of a good player even if you walk a lot (Big Pun intended)

              Again this is what is wrong with a lot of you stat guys on here. I get career numbers and everything but you have to weigh last year as a heavier number until he proves it to be wrong. Last year was his 4th or 5th year in the bigs, he is not some kid.

              My main point though is that Swisher will have to battle and prove his worth for playing time, something I have not problem with. If Swisher has a problem with that as he did in Chicago he will find himself in his 4th big league town in 3 or 4 years, because he will be OUTTA HERE (like KRS One said)

              • Matt

                That’s because career stats are much better indicators or predictors of performance than”last year,” applied to anyone, not just Swisher. I call him better than Nady because he has been, over the course of their careers, better. He’s also younger, had success in the American League, is a better defender…

                Swisher’s problem in Chicago wasn’t battling for a spot–it was playing center and batting lead off, two things he didn’t agree with.

                • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Don Dodda

                  “Career stats are much better indicators or predictors”

                  I do not agree with that. I think everything is case by case for that. Like your career stats are better indicators if last year was not your first for lack of a better term “slide year”. We do not know if it was for him.

                  You can attribute his bad year to him batting lead off or playing CF, but that is just speculation. He may have even said that but nobody is going to say “I hit .220 last year because I suck now”. But he may just suck. He also might have been using some PED and stopped last year. He may have only been able to play in Oakland because he had some magic thong. The league may have finally figured out how to get him out and he can not adjust. So many things could have happened.

                  Bottom line is if we are trying to trade somebody Swisher is the easiest to deal and possibly get something back because he is under contract for a long period of time. Nobody will get rid of value for Nady due to him being in his walk year. If Nady and Swisher were signed to similar contracts most teams would prefer Nady on their team.

                • Matt

                  “I do not agree with that.”

                  That’s just going against basic statistical principles…and I don’t mean baseball ones. I mean mathematics or anything in general. The more times you do something or the more data you have, the more likely it is to be accurate; the less things you do or the less data have, the more inaccurate the results. It’s no different in baseball. Arguments like yours are why people voted for Howard instead of Pujols. They value one thing (Sept.) over EVERYthing (Pujols’ entire season) which is just silly.

                  “He also might have been using some PED and stopped last year. ”

                  Show me any piece of evidence ever linking Swisher to PED.

                  “He may have only been able to play in Oakland because he had some magic thong. ”

                  So he had good offensive seasons in a bad hitter’s park because he’s a bad hitter? That makes tons of sense.

                  “The league may have finally figured out how to get him out and he can not adjust. So many things could have happened.”

                  I highly doubt that. He had a career high line drive percentage and still hit for a low BA. That’s an indicator of pretty shitty luck if you ask me. Also, the difference between his OBP and his BA was pretty much the same as it was for the last few years so his approach wasn’t varied at all. He was still getting on base, which is a hitter’s main job.

                  “If Nady and Swisher were signed to similar contracts most teams would prefer Nady on their team.”

                  Then those teams would be foolish. Xavier Nady makes outs 20% more than Nick Swisher does. That’s not good. Nady had an up year, Swisher had a down year. Based on the bigger sample size of their whole career, Nady’s performance is more the rule than the exception. Swisher down year was definitely the exception.

  • ryan

    Sisher will probably bring back more than anyone else…He’s the youngest of the outfielders as well as the most versitle. He is the only one under control for 2010 and that may make swisher the most movable piece the yanks have. I could do without watching a guy bat 240 for the yr in the yankee lineup, Melky lost his job hitting for that average.

    • The Third Yip-Yip

      Yeah, but unless you’re getting a young/prime-aged starting pitcher who can step into the rotation right away, why trade him?

      • emac2

        Because he isn’t worth 40 million over the next 3 years. (salary plus tax)

    • tomaconda

      If Melkys ops was close to .850 with 25hr and 30 2b than he certainly wouldn’t have lost his job. Giambi hit .240 was he not valuable?

      • emac2

        Was he resigned?

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          Was he resigned?

          The reason he wasn’t resigned had nothing to do with his value. It was because we signed Teixeira.

          The real question is “would he have been resigned if we hadn’t signed Teixeira?”

          I don’t know the answer to that question, but, if he was willing to come back on a one year deal for $5-8 mil, I think he might have been resigned.

          Also, you totally disregarded the fact that Swisher is 28 and Giambi is 38.

          • emac2

            LOL – You still up from a bender?

            Have you looked at the dates on those decisions?

            I disregarded both of the players entirely because they can’t hit the baseball.

            I’m not interested in players who wait for pitchers to make mistakes as their only offensive option. I’m looking for players who can hit a tough pitch so that we don’t beat the good pitchers in the regular season but get beat by the bad ones in the playoffs.

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              You totally disregard the value of grinding out at bats. Last year, Swisher saw the most pitches per AB in the AL, and Giambi saw the 3rd most.

              This gives the Yanks a tremendous advantage, that even A-Rod, a player whose offense I presume you like, acknowledged. He said Abreu’s 8-10 pitch ABs were a significant help to him in identifying pitches.

              It is also serves to increase the opposing pitchers pitch count, and get into the bullpen.

              So each player can contribute in his own way. You don’t need a line-up full of 300/400/500 to win a championship, and Nady and Swisher can both be very important cogs to the Yankees offense. Can they carry it individually? No, of course not, but neither can Cano, he he is also important.

    • A.D.

      Sisher will probably bring back more than anyone else

      Doubtful, Swisher has done nothing to make him more valuable than Marquez, Betemit, and Nunez….aka not very valuable to trade. His stock is at an all time low, he will have to go out and hit to raise it.

  • mustang

    The Giants have a lot of young infielders Kevin Frandsen, Emmanuel Burriss and Eugenio Velez are all competing for the starting second-base job in 2009. Burriss and Velez are both switch hitters with speed.
    Emmanuel Burriss seems to be the best one out of group.

    I really don’t know much about these guys or what it might take to get them.
    Can anyone give me an idea?

  • mustang

    “Sabean has steadfastly refused to try to acquire players entering their “walk” year.”

    Nady is out seems like Swisher is the best fit for the Giants.

    • kenthadley

      isn’t Randy Johnson basically in his “walk” year… year contract…..what’s the difference?……Sabean has had so many problems in SF, maybe he needs to be a little flexible if he wants to compete better…….when is the last time the Giants really competed for a playoff spot? teams that want to compete need to take advantage of all opportunities…..obtaining walk year hitting for something they have an overabundance of makes sense if they want to compete in 2009.

      • tomaconda

        Big difference, Johnson is being added as a small piece of the puzzle. With Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, and Zito their rotation is pretty solid. Their offense is horrific. Their best hitters are Randy Winn and Benji Molina. Nady would step into the three of four hole for the Gigantes. Why would they want to trade for that for 1 year?

        • Mike Pop

          Also they just have to give money not prospects.

        • emac2

          They should trade for one year guys because they don’t cost much and you get to see how they do before signing them long term. The giants can part with their farm system and get a good hitter tied up for a long time or they can pick up a couple of guys in their walk years to make a run.

          If they picked up a couple of free players like Matsui and Nady they tie up a grand total of 20 mil and have the option to keep those guys or not after the season.

          If they want someone cheap and long term they have to part with a bunch of prospects and set themselves way back if they don’t win this year.

          I think the giants will abandon the no walk year reul in this economy as well. They should be waiting to see how things work out before signing long term deal.

    • whozat

      “Nady is out seems like Swisher is the best fit for the Giants.”

      Then trade with someone else.

      If they trade Swisher, the 2010 OF is ??, ?? and ??

      That’s not something you want.

      • tomaconda

        The Braves and Reds could both use Nady but why trade him? What are you going to get back? Maybe a jo jo Reyes type? Nady is more valuable to the Yankees than anything they could potentially get for him.

        • whozat

          I actually agree. Why trade any of them? There’s really no urgency. Damon or Matsui could pull up lame in the spring, obviating the need for a trade. Nady or Swisher could suck. Either way, with some judicious juggling, you can find ABs for all of them for the first half of the season and see how things shake out. Then, you make a trade in July. Someone will be looking for an upgrade.

          The difference between what you could get now and what you could get in July for Matsui or Nady really isn’t that great, so what’s the harm in waiting? And maybe Gardner exceeds all our expectations and can take over the leadoff slot, so they can trade Damon to a team that yearns for a Veteran Leadoff Man.

          • tomaconda

            I agree. Plus this outfield has the chance to be very good defensively. Damon is a very good left fielder (with a bad arm), Gardner is a very good center fielder and Nady is better than league average. Swisher can play all three positions and is a very good right fielder for 2009.

      • Mike Pop

        Agreed, you have to get a top prospect back in order to deal Swish. He’s under contract, friends with the bossman CC, and hes just a goood player in general. Since you are not going to get a top prospect back for him the best bet is to keep him. I dont think I would move any of these guys right now unless it is Matsui and we get something of some kind of value back for him. Like a Figgins, a super-utility guy who is also entering his walk year. In order to get one of those guys I would think a team would have to have at least 2 of them and would need a power bat DH. Do the Rangers, Athletics, or Angels have 2 “super-utility” players.

        Unless you get one of them back for Matsui, I would think its best to keep them all.

        • tomaconda

          I think Matsui has negative trade value right now but i could be wrong. I would rather have Matsui than give him away for nothing AND have to pay some of his salary.

          • emac2

            I do agree with this statement but I think that if we wait until spring training and if he can prove he is healthy there will be a strong market for him.

            A really solid left handed hitter with only 13 mil left on his deal is a good investment for a contending team.

            I’m not sure I want to trade him though unless we sign Manny to DH.

        • Mike Pop

          Scutaro is an FA after 09. Do you think the Jays would trade him for Matsui ? Would it be worth it ?

          • Mike Pop

            I meant Nady. Matsui wouldnt even be worth a phone call since they got guys like Lind and Snider.

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              You would trade Nady for Scutero? Really? Because I’m sure that JPR would do that deal in a heart beat. The real question is why would Cash ever do it? And thankfully, the answer is he would never, not in 100 million years.

        • mustang

          “Like a Figgins, a super-utility guy who is also entering his walk year’

          I like Figgins too, but a friend of my reminded me that he can be a bit of a bitch ass when it comes to playing time.

      • mustang

        Worry about 2010 in the 2009 winter meetings outfielders are a dime a dozen. I like the idea of that Burriss kid they can work him in slowly maybe he can turn out to be something. Jeter is not getting any younger and please before anyone starts I’m not comparing the two. I really know very little about Burriss.

        • whozat

          So…you want to trade a guy that could handle being a starting outfielder for a UT ifer…and then buy a whole new outfield next offseason?

          That makes no sense.

          • tomaconda

            I Agree again. If you go into next offseason with Swisher on the roster it makes things a lot less complicated. Who knows Gardner may turn out to be the next great leadoff hitter and Jackson may hit .300 with some pop in AAA, but I would rather have those questions answered first before I traded a guy like Swisher who can play all three of positions. By the way i think Ankiel would make a great right fielder for us next year and is going to have a break out season in 09. Im betting on a .900 ops with 30+ hr. Would be a very good right fielder as well.

          • mustang

            Well the only person I can see the Angels trading for is Matsui because they have outfielders. So that doesn’t change your outfields plans, but Figgins for Matsui probably not going to happen. Especially since the Angels young 3rd base prospect, Wood, had such a bad winter.

            • mustang

              Miss place my comment.

          • emac2

            So, you want to keep a marginal major league hitter who makes 10 mil a year to save yourself the trouble of shopping for a replacement for someone else next year?

            That makes no sense!

            • Mike Pop

              You make no sense. Its one less hole to fill for a lot less $$$$. As of right now our OF for 2010 is Swish, Gardner, Melky. A-Jax looking in. If Swish is traded, you have Gardner, Melky, Ajax. Which scenario would you rather be in?

              • emac2

                I would prefer any scenario that does not have me obligated to a .250 hitter at over 10 million a year.

                What do you mean it is one less hole to fill for a lot less dollars? have you even bothered to look at who is on the market right now for less than 10 million?

                The deals are only going to get better next year as the economy gets worse. We don’t need to tie up all of our money with the Swishers of the world and then watch the Sox and Rays pick up the next generation of stars at half price.

                Players exactly like Swisher aren’t easy to find but finding a comparable outfielder for what he makes is not difficult and carries no risk of the player continuing his collapse while you are on the hook for a big contract.

                I’ll take the risk of finding someone like him next year for 10 million a year instead of the risk of being stuck with him when better options are available.

                • steve (different one)

                  I would prefer any scenario that does not have me obligated to a .250 hitter at over 10 million a year.

                  you keep posting this.

                  since i’m not even going to argue the weakness of your batting average argument, i’ll just correct you one the FACTS:

                  Swisher is owed about $21M for the next 3 seasons.

                  stop saying $10M a year. it’s wrong.

                  here are his salary numbers:

                  09:$5.3M, 10:$6.75M, 11:$9M

                  just stop with the $10M.

                • emac2

                  add that up and then add lux tax and let me know what you have.

                • Ben K.

                  Spread out over three years, it still doesn’t add up to $30 million. And you’re also ignoring the fact that it’s three years. No one is paying Swisher that much in 2009. You’re just attempting to distort facts to prove some point with which no one agrees.

                • 27 this year

                  yea and you don’t add lux tax to each contract. Just add the 40% for every dollar spent over 2009’s threshold which is 162 mil.

        • tomaconda

          I would say it would be ok to worry about the outfield at next years winter meetings except for the fact that you could be lloking at replacing you whole outfield. What if Gardner is horrible and Jackson hits .220 at Scranton. The only top outfielder available is Holliday. Ankiel is out there as well. but replacing three is tough. I would hang onto Swisher unless he was going to bring back a near ready top centerfield prospect.

      • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Don Dodda

        I am not saying we need to trade Nady or Swisher. But I really am not worried about the 2010 OF right now.

        We will have much money coming off the books, and hopefully a CF that is ready to play on the cheap from our farm. We could plug in two free agents or trade for a guy and sign one free agent.

        I would only trade Nady or Swisher if we needed to reduce the payroll and/ or get something useful back that would help us for more than one year.

        Matsui is another case, and if I was going to trade him I would either do it NOW, or wait and hope he is better in ST and get more for him (pay less for giving him away), or keep him because he looks better than I had hoped.

        • Ryan S.

          I agree, the 2010 OF looks fine, just take a look at this:

          2010 CF Candidates: Gardner/Cabrera/AJax/Someone we could get in a trade

          2010 Corner OF Candidates: Nady (if he’s worthy of offering a contract extension or signing as a FA) / Swisher / Gardner / Cabrera / Free agent (Matt Holiday?) / Someone we get in a trade

          I could see us being able to shore up 2 of those spots – CF and a single corner, internally without much worry. Really not something worth worrying about when its not even 2009 yet.

          As for Matsui, I like keeping him as our primary DH unless Posada is totally done as a catcher this year or if we’re making room for Manny (something I’m not really advocating). Otherwise, I think Hideki is just fine where he is.

  • JJ

    Any way this supposed trade happens before we announce Teixeira to clear a spot on the 40 man for him, or will we just cut someone loose? If it’s the latter, will it be Shelly Duncan?

  • Un-Named Yankee Source

    Does anyone else realize that the FA outfielders next year are Boras clients. Do you really want to pay $15-$20 mil per for Holliday, Nady, or Ankiel? Boras sure knows that we will be desperate. This is not a good situation.

    • steve (different one)

      Ankiel or Nady won’t get $15M/year just because they are repped by Boras.

  • Un-Named Yankee Source

    For that matter, Damon is a Boras client too! Oh Boy.

  • Capital T

    I trust Cashman to make the right decision:

    fun article on Cashman for Secretary of Defense

    • Un-Named Yankee Source

      Hank Steinbrenner for President! Funny how the Yanks can spend spend spend and STILL make money. We need them in the upper government. First order of business though, …pardon the Mitchell Report.

  • Un-Named Yankee Source

    Maybe get creative: To NYY: Upton (ARI) Byrnes (ARI) To ARI: Duncan (NYY) Nady (NYY) Kennedy (NYY) Cabrera (NYY) —- The Logic: Saves ARI some money on the Byrnes contract, they lose 1 quality player, but get Nady to replace. IPK is added to sweeten the deal due to ARI losing Upton. If ARI is out of contention they can trade Nady or get picks in return if they do not resign him. The Yanks now have addressed youth, and the OF for 2010+.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Why would Arizona ever trade Justin Upton? To get rid of Eric Byrnes? Ridiculous! That’s just Lohudian stupid.
      I will be shocked if Shelly Duncan is even with the Yankees after they sign Teixeira.

      • Un-Named Yankee Source

        Was it not Arizona that just traded MVP contender Carlos Quinten last year? You just never know.

        • Steve H

          Carlos Quentin was not an MVP candidate heading into 2008 and they clearly wouldn’t make that trade again. Upton is one of the top 3 or 4 hitting prospects in baseball. There is no way they are trading him, unless it’s Joba/Ajax/Montero or something that obviously the Yankees wouldn’t do.

          • Un-Named Yankee Source

            Do not get me wrong, …I want Upton for that reason. Do you have a better idea of whom to target? I understand that you have to give to get and it needs to hurt for it to work. But with that said, we just signed 2 stud pitchers that will be here for 3+ years, 1B, 3B, 2B is locked down. We need to now see how we can turn prospects into prospects that fill needs. Stud pitcher for stud outfielder? Hughes for Bruce? IPK for Hermida? What do you suggest? Keep in mind, we have deep pockets, saving another team money on a mistake, Byrnes, has value too!

            • A.D.

              I get what you’re saying, Upton just isn’t going to be moved.

              You would probably have to centerpiece Hughes (something the Yanks probably don’t want to do), or be making a package for an outfield prospect, that still carries risk

            • Ryan S.

              It would take a package including someone like Joba and prospects like AJax to get Justin Upton. The only question worth debating in a trade like that who is hangs up first, Cashman or the DBacks GM?

  • emac2

    2004 Oak 20 60 11 15 4 0 2 8 8 11 0 0 .250 .352 .417 .769
    2005 Oak 131 462 66 109 32 1 21 74 55 110 0 1 .236 .322 .446 .768
    2006 Oak 157 556 106 141 24 2 35 95 97 152 1 2 .254 .372 .493 .865
    2007 Oak 150 539 84 141 36 1 22 78 100 131 3 2 .262 .381 .455 .836
    2008 Cws 153 497 86 109 21 1 24 69 82 135 3 3 .219 .332 .410 .742
    Total ——611 2114 353 515 117 5 104 324 342 539 7 8 .244 .354 .451 .805


    When did this become Yankee starting material?

    He couldn’t earn 2nd base on my Fantasy team with those numbers.

    • A.D.

      Then you have a top 6 fantasy 2b

      • emac2

        Well that’s true but he wouldn’t make my team at any other position either.


    • Matt

      Four straight years of at least 20 homers and three straight years of at least 80 walks.

      That’s why he’s a starter on the Yankees. The Yankees are a patient team (Swisher lead the league in P/PA last season) that hits homers as well (Swisher can do that plenty well). Nick Swisher is a perfect fit for the Yankees.

      • Ryan S.

        I say this about every guy we get, but I really do think it applies to Swisher: he’s gonna do better in our lineup than he did in Oakland or Chicago. He was one of Oakland’s biggest bats, and Chicago totally mishandled him (having play leadoff and play in CF). Now he’ll be in the 7 or 8 hole, and still have more opportunities to drive in runs than he did in Oakland.

        • Matt

          Exactly. The Yankee lineup makes many people (I’m looking at you, Torre!) better.

          • Ryan S.

            I really don’t know who’s going to come out on top in the epic battle that is Nick Swisher vs. Xavier Nady. I think both are good enough players to start in RF and bat 7th or 8th in our lineup.

            Both guys are going to get their chances, and I know Girardi is going to end up playing whichever guy gives us the best chance to win.

            Nady cost us more to trade for, just had the best year of his career so far, and has already been an everyday starting player for us for a couple months.

            Swisher was dirt cheap to trade for and just had a down year on a different team.

            Those factors make me want to guess that Nady is the RF being penciled in for the starting day lineup right now, but who knows? I don’t.

      • emac2

        Doesn’t batting average matter at all to you?

        • Matt

          Not all that much. On base percentage is much more important. Juan Pierre has a high batting average…do you think he’s a valuable player?

          Nick Swisher’s BA was .219 last year. That’s bad. But, his OBP was .332. By itself, a .332 OBP isn’t good. It’s well below average. But, since it was 112 points higher than his batting average, it’s pretty damn impressive.

          Let’s put it this way, if A-Rod’s OBP were 113 points higher than his BA last year, his OBP would’ve been .415.

          Swisher’s value doesn’t come from a high batting average. It comes from seeing a ton of pitches (led the league in P/PA in 08), walking a lot (at least 80 every year since 06), and hitting a decent amount of homers. Like Adam Dunn and Pat Burrell (to a much lesser extent), Nick Swisher is not paid to hit for a high batting average.

          • Ryan S.

            Its also likely that his BA rises at least 20 points – there was more to his 2008 season than just him having a down year … it was a weird year as well for him. He should be in a much more comfortable place batting 7th or 8th and playing a corner OF spot.

          • emac2

            I do not.

            Our difference isn’t that I overvalue batting average. The difference is that I want my players to be above average in all stats. If you have to cherry pick stats to find something that someone does well you simply don’t have a very good player.

            • Ryan S.

              OBP, OPS+, wOBA, BABIP, etc are hardly cherry picked stats…in fact, all the statistics being discussed are relevant, and need to be taken in context of each other. Those numbers more than make up for Swisher’s low BA.

            • Matt

              I’m not cherry-picking. I’m giving you more than just one stat (I’ve used, in this thread: OBP/SLG/OPS/EQA/wOBA/UZR.)’re hung up on batting average while ignoring other, more useful, more-conducive-to-run-scoring stats.

              Bad BA =/= bad player.

              • Matt

                Oh, I also used Wins over Replacement, home runs, walks, and line drive percentage, so that’s ten stats that stretch pretty far over the board. You’ve used batting average. Who’s cherry picking?

        • Bruno

          Is it the ONLY thing that matters to you?

          • emac2

            No but I don’t ignore stats to make my point. You can either show your ability accross the board or you are weak.

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          Doesn’t batting average matter at all to you?

          By itself, it is about as meaningful as ERA is for a pitcher.

          Which isn’t to say it’s meaningless at all, but rather by itself, it doesn’t mean much.

          Which player would you rather have?

          Player A: 300/330/400
          Player B: 280/380/400

          If you picked Player A, I really can’t help you.

        • Steve H

          emac2, please listen. When a batter gets to the plate, the two outcomes that can happen are either he makes an out, or he doesn’t make an out. Nick Swisher makes outs less frequently then Nady. Nevermind that he also hits for more power, defends better, is 2 years younger, and has had AL success. Again, Nick Swisher makes outs less frequently then Nady, making him more valuable and a better hitter. What would you rather have 1-4 with a single, or 0-2 with 2 walks? If you say the single, all hope is lost.

  • ortforshort

    It would be interesting to see Abreu and Giambi with the A’s. It would be a little remiiscent of the old days in Kansas City when the A’s looked the Yankee old timers team. I don’t know what happened to Beane and his money-ball philosophy, but the A’s are one crappy hitting team. The additions of Holliday, Giambi, Abreu and the return to health of Chavez may or may not be enough to turn that mess around. And, even if they do, it would only be for a year or two at the most.

  • emac2

    Sorry to bug you guys today.

    I had to remind myself why I don’t talk baseball any more.


    • Ryan S.

      You should post on LoHud!

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      I had to remind myself why I don’t talk baseball any more.

      Because you don’t understand it? Seriously, when everybody disagrees with you position, it’s time to re-examine it. Not necessarily give it up, because there could be a time when everybody else is wrong, but it’s unlikely.

      But if you head on over to Murray Chass’s blog, I’m fairly certain he will agree with you.

    • Steve H

      You don’t talk baseball anymore because every time you do people explain to you why you’re wrong. It’s why I don’t talk astrophysics anymore, I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about either!!

  • Bonos

    You know that’s an awful amount of snark. What, you’re claim to fame is that you memorized a bunch of alphabet soup and discovered fangraphs. What if Swisher duplicates last year? Nobody has accused Williams of being a dummy so why the giveaway? Stats are indicators of past performances and projections, not prophecies. This is a very good blog with a lot of good contributors. It’s when it gets to the group grope and preaching to the choir, that it becomes boring in a hurry.

    • Matt

      I’m pretty sure a lot of people called Williams a dummy. He gave up a young, useful, versatile player for basically Betemit since the prospects traded were almost a wash, with slight favor going to the Yankees since Marquez was highly overrated by the org.

      I use those stats because they’re far more useful and inclusive than batting average. I stated I used them because the other guy called cherry-picking when he was clearly the one cherry picking.

      Yes, batting average is not Nick Swisher’s strong point but like I said, he’s not getting paid to hit for a high average; he’s getting paid to get on base and play good corner OF defense.

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