Crazy Trade Idea: Swisher for Marcum

What Went As Expected: Robinson Cano
The CC Sabathia - Cliff Lee Connection
(Matt Slocum-Pool/Getty Images)

I don’t do this often, because drumming up trade proposals is the safest way to look like an idiot on the baseball blogosphere. Usually I just come up with a possible trade target, state his qualifications, list what some similar players brought back in a trade, and leave it at that. I’m going to do something different this time, only because this deal seemed not completely insane when it came to me: Nick Swisher for Shaun Marcum.

Hear me out, I think it makes some sense for both clubs. I mentioned last week that one way or the other, the Yankees should pick up Swisher’s option, even if they want to get rid of him. It’s a below-market salary and it makes him a trade commodity, so that’s the route they’d have to go to pull off this swap with the Brewers. Now let’s dig into the details…

Their contracts are close to a wash.

Both Marcum and Swisher will be free agents after the 2012 season, and both comfortably project to be Type-A free agents at the moment. Swisher will be owed $10.25M once his option is picked up, and MLBTR’s projections have Marcum at $6.8M his final time through arbitration. They do note that peers like Matt Garza, John Danks, and Jeremy Guthrie could lift that salary a little higher (perhaps into the $8M range), but even if they don’t, a $3.45M gap isn’t huge. I’d have to think the two sides could work that out.

Their performances are close to a wash.

Despite a sluggish finish (more on that in a bit), Marcum had a very strong year for the Brewers. He pitched to a 3.54 ERA (3.73 FIP) in 200.2 IP, his first time over the 200 IP plateau. That performance is pretty damn close to what he did for the Blue Jays in 2010 (3.64 ERA and 3.74 FIP in 195.1 IP), his first year back from Tommy John surgery. Over his last three years (that’s 2008 plus 2010-2011 because of the elbow injury), Marcum has been worth 10.0 bWAR, a bit below Swisher’s 11.4 bWAR during his three years in pinstripes. Perhaps the salary difference offsets the production difference.

Each team would be filling a need.

The Yankees need starting pitching, obviously. The free agent market is uninspiring beyond C.J. Wilson and Yu Darvish, the latter of whom isn’t even a free agent (technically). Marcum brings four-plus years worth of AL East experience as well as less risk because he won’t require a long-term contract. The Brewers will lose Prince Fielder to free agency barring some unforeseen miracle, and Swisher can step right in at first base and replace some of what they’re losing in the middle of the order.

Each team would be dealing from a position of depth.

The Brewers are set to bring all five starters back next year, including swingman extraordinaire Marco Estrada (8.55 K/9 and 3.67 FIP this year). They will also have top-ish prospects Mark Rogers and Wily Peralta stashed away in Triple-A in case of emergency. If the Yankees have anything to spare, it’s offense. They’d still boast one of the game’s best lineups without Swisher.

* * *

Ultimately, I would say no to this trade if I was the Yankees, though I think it would be a lot easier for them to replace Swisher’s production this winter than find a pitcher of Marcum’s caliber. That doesn’t mean they should run out and sign Carlos Beltran for multiple years, but they could dig up a productive right fielder. Hell, I bet a platoon of Chris Dickerson and Andruw Jones would be worth about three wins, and if not, it’s easier to find a corner outfield bat than a starting pitcher at the trade deadline.

I do worry about how Marcum finished the season (35 runs in 34 IP across four regular season starts and three playoff starts), mostly because something might be wrong physically. He had the elbow surgery two years ago and dealt with a hip flexor strain this summer. Then again, he could have just hit a wall after going from 15.2 IP in 2009 (all minor league rehab) to 195.1 IP in 2010 following the elbow surgery. Marcum also has little room for error as a soft-tossing (fastball has averaged ~87 mph last five years) fastball-changeup specialist, especially one that gives up a lot of fly balls (39.2% grounders in his career) and doesn’t miss a ton of bats (7.3 K/9 since 2008).

As Joe reminded us three offseasons ago, our trade proposals suck. I fully acknowledge that my trade proposal is dumb and extremely unlikely to happen, but I do think it’s slightly less dumb than most of the proposals you’ll find out there. There is reason for each team to explore a Swisher-for-Marcum swap, but at the end of the day, the Yankees would assuming too much risk while giving away too much certainty.

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What Went As Expected: Robinson Cano
The CC Sabathia - Cliff Lee Connection
  • Blaze

    Grienke would be a much better target, even if it required an adition such as nunez.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      probably would take more than Nunez, and if you want Greinke so badly, just wait a year.

      • Blaze

        It may be better to bite the bullit in terms of prospects and see how he can handle NY rather than hand out a 100 million contract and hope for the best. Also while Cash may have not wanted him in the past, it was partially due to the prospects required. He was a year removed from his CY season with a longer contract. If we are not talking Montero Bentances or Banuelos, it may be more palatable to Cash. Just saying…

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      Ehh. I wouldn’t want Grienke.

      • Reg

        In my opinion: he would lose his manhood in the Bronx

        • JobaWockeeZ

          And he’d still be better than any pitcher that’s not CC.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Cashman doesn’t seem to want anything to do with Greinke.

      • David N

        I wouldn’t want anything to do with Greinke either. Him + NY media is a recipe for unpleasantness (and I’m not just talking about off-the-field unpleasantness).

        • Ted Nelson

          Yeah, because players with questionable attitudes and quirky personalities never work out in NY…

          If he pitches well it won’t be a problem, and if he pitches poorly the media will be on him no matter his mental state or what city he’s playing in.

          • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

            I just saw Grienke interview for the first time in street clothes the other day. My initial thought was “oh, you are a funny, funny-looking man.”

            While I’m not a fan of idiot narratives like “X guy can’t hack it in New York,” this might be the one guy I’m actually willing to entertain the thought with.

            • Ted Nelson

              Again, I think the causation usually goes poor performance –> problems with the media and not vise versa. If he doesn’t pitch well he might be a bit more miserable in NY, but it’s not like fans and media are nice to losers in small markets.

          • David N

            If you don’t pitch well in Milwaukee, it’s not that big a deal. Don’t pitch well in New York and a few more people care.

            And it’s not a simple matter of questionable attitudes or quirky personalities – there are people with certain quirks that can thrive in New York. But there are other quirks that don’t suit playing in New York well, and the Yankees are apparently convinced that Greinke has those sorts of quirks. And I’m inclined to believe them.

            • Ted Nelson

              Whether there are one hundred thousand people pissed at you or five million seems like a fairly marginal thing to your daily reality. I doubt many athletes take polls to find out exactly how many fans hate them. More people care, but people still care in smaller markets.

              The point is that if you perform it doesn’t matter if you’re a terrible person, a great person, or weird person… if you don’t perform that’s when you start running into problems. Even with the same player. Cano’s “laziness” is only a HUGE issue after he had a terrible season. Same with Hughes’ video game habit. Mussina didn’t deal with the media much, but no one cared because he performed.

              You have done nothing to show how his quirks will hurt him in NY more than anyone else or him anywhere else.

              • CP

                You have done nothing to show how his quirks will hurt him in NY more than anyone else or him anywhere else.

                It’s not just ‘quirks’. It’s social anxiety disorder. He has problems with social interactions in groups of people.

                Whether there are one hundred thousand people pissed at you or five million seems like a fairly marginal thing to your daily reality.

                But the difference between 4 reporters and 40 standing around your locker asking questions could be a big difference to him.

                Maybe it wouldn’t be an issue. Maybe he’d be fine. But there’s also a possibility that a few bad starts would spiral into severe depression for him. There’s no way to judge this from afar (or up close for that matter), it just comes down to a gut feeling. How much should the Yankees be willing to wager on a gut feeling?

        • Sarah

          I’m inclined to think if he never spoke to the media, he’d be fine. And that would never happen in NY, so probably not the best fit.

          Otherwise, I’m fine with him.

    • ACE

      The Brewers lost 26 games at home, 13 of them were starts by Marcum, he’s not good.

      NEXT!!

    • http://none Favrest

      Listening to him talk sh*t about the Cards before the nlcs really dropped his value in my book. He pulls that here, and then gets lit up twice, he’ll have a REAL nervous breakdown.

  • David N

    If the Yankees can’t find anyone else (i.e. no Wilson, no Darvish), then perhaps this would make sense. But I don’t trust Marcum in the AL East (and a pitch-to-fly-ball-contact guy in Yankee Stadium would make me really nervous), and even though Swisher’s struggles in the playoffs are infuriating, the guy is at least a solid and reliable regular season player.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Marcum has already shown an ability to fare well in the AL East. His 2010 as a Blue Jay was almost identical to his 2011 as a Brewer.

      • David N

        One year, though. I’d want a bit more of a track record than that before I’d trade a guy like Swisher for him.

        • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S

          He pitched with the Blue Jays for five years… so…

    • Ted Nelson

      He pitched in the AL East until this season…

  • jay destro

    the separation between his fastball (which avg was about 86) and his change up makes me say no way no thanks move along.

  • dan l

    Yuck! Put Swisher plus in a deal with the Padres for Luebke and Thatcher instead.

    • Brian S.

      I wonder what pieces we would have to include with Swisher for those two. I would love Luebke and Thatcher in the Bronx.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    This is a good fallback plan if they are stuck with CC, Nova, Burnett, Hughes and whoever.

  • Rich in NJ

    I’d rather trade Swisher for ML ready (or near ML ready) LH hitting OF prospect with some upside.

    • Ted Nelson

      Not to disagree because obviously everyone is entitled to their own opinion on trades, but that’s a lot riskier of a deal. Here you’re getting a proven performer. Most prospects fail, even the good ones. Not the end of the world, but that also makes for an all righty OF assuming that guy works out.

      • Rich in NJ

        OTOH, pitchers are more fragile than hitters so there’s a different kind of risk involved with trading a hitter for a pitcher.

        The system has no high level OF prospects with a lot of upside, so it’s an area of need. Obviously, you have to trust your scouts to identify the right prospect.

        Alternatively, you could pair Swisher with another asset to target a young OF who has already had some ML success.

        In any event, I’m not particularly high on Marcum and I think there are enough in-house options to fill out the rotation.

        • Ted Nelson

          I could be wrong, but I’d assume historically that a proven MLB pitcher is still a safer bet than all but the most elite hitting prospects (and why is a team trading the most elite of hitting prospects for Swisher?).

          At the same time there is more upside with a prospect than Marcum, who is unlikely to suddenly become Greg Maddux. You have to find a team willing to trade the right guy for Swisher, though, which makes it difficult. You’re talking about an intangible OF prospect/MLB OFer… whereas Mike was talking about a specific pitcher. I (or whoever else) might take one OF prospect over Swisher and Marcum, but not another. Talking specifics would be a lot more useful. “Some OFer with some MLB success…” like who? That could be Chris Dickerson or Mike Stanton.

          Ultimately I think it all comes down to value. Not having an OF in the high minors doesn’t mean you have to go out and trade for one. You can use free agency and trades. I think it’s more important to take the more valuable player (as far as you, me, or the Yankees project them) regardless of position.

          • Rich in NJ

            I didn’t mean to suggest that the risks are equivalent, only that risk accompanies every transaction.

            I don’t know about elite, but some teams have depth in high level OF prospects, but want a sure thing in order to help compete now (you could probably pencil Swisher in for a 120ish OPS+, which is pretty good).

            Right, admittedly I don’t know enough about the universe of OF prospects who might be worth Swisher, however, I certainly don’t mean a 29 year old, like Dickerson, who is a non-prospect, and so, no, it couldn’t be him.

            When it comes to trades, we are basically speaking in the abstract because none of what we say really matters (it might be different for Mike, because some decision-makers may credit his opinion because he isn’t merely a nameless, faceless internet bot, like most of us).

            So ultimately, in this context, discussing concepts makes a lot of sense to me.

            • Ted Nelson

              Would take the Yankees being higher on a team’s prospect than they are, in all likelihood. Certainly possible in a Colby Rasmus-type scenario. It’s just tough to say no to a very specific trade because you’d prefer a better trade that you can’t suggest the player(s) involved in. We’d all prefer better trades.

              Dickerson has had some MLB success, but he was only an example.

              What we say doesn’t impact the outcome, but there’s still a huge difference between saying “trade Swisher for some OF prospect I can’t name” vs. “trade Swisher for Marcum.”

              “Don’t trade for a specific pitcher because there may be some OF prospect out there…” it goes without saying that the Yankees should make their inquiries to figure out who is on the market and not trade Swisher for Marcum if they like Swisher better or like someone else being offered better. That’s implied.
              “Don’t trade for Marcum and trade for any OF prospect you can get that might be ok and is LHH…” that makes no sense to me.

              • Rich in NJ

                I messed up. My reply is at this link.

    • A.D.

      If the OF prospect was ML ready why would they trade him for another OF?

      • Rich in NJ

        As I said, Swish is more of a sure thing (the 120ish OPS+ reference above) for a team that is prioritizing contending in 2012 and has sufficient positional depth in the mLs, and as Mike said: “If the Yankees have anything to spare, it’s offense.”

        So the Yankees could in a better position to endure the almost inevitable learning curve, with the hope that there would be a sufficient as the season wore on.

  • Doc Holliday

    LOL! One guy who can’t perform in the postseason for another guy who can’t perform in the postseason. The Brewers would love to dump Marcum on us after what he did to them last night. Why don’t we just get Wang back and we can have another guy who bombs in the playoffs.

    • CP

      You know who the Yankees need? Jeff Weaver.

      He was money in the playoffs.

      • Johnny O

        Hahaha. He does have the same amount of World Series rings as A-Rod…

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

        The Yankees should have made a midseason trade for Steve Trout. Dude is fire.

        • Paul VuvuZuvella (formerly Nuke LaDoosh)

          “Lou, I just won you the pennant”

          – Steinbrenner to Piniella

    • Ted Nelson

      Wang had a 2.70 ERA over his first two playoffs… he bombed in one playoffs. Get a clue. What have you done for me lately can be had on any number of blogs. Step your game up here.

  • UYF1950

    Mike, just curious what if instead of Marcum, Randy Wolf was the option? I realize the Brewers have a 2013 option on him and he is a little older but 2 years of him for the Yankees could be just what the doctor ordered. Just enough time for AJ’s contract to expire. It might take Swisher and some sort or “other” prospect but what do you think? Plus Wolf’s a lefty.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Not a Wolf fan at all. Older than Marcum, more expensive, same fly ball tendencies with fewer strikeouts. Being left-handed isn’t a cure-all.

  • Dan2

    Love your out of the box thinking. This team cannot stand pat and just get older.
    How about adding Hughes to the deal and them adding Cory Hart?

    • Jose M. Vazquez..

      Trading Hughes does not make us younger. I don’t like the deal as proposed by Mike Axisa because we have better in house pitchers that are or can become better than Marcum. Also Cory Hart is not an upgrade over Swisher fielding or hittingwise. Ergo, I say no to the proposal.

  • Ted Nelson

    It’s a well thought-out and analyzed piece. Certainly worth considering contingent on a number of other outcomes (i.e. other pitching options and other RF options).

  • UncleArgyle

    Did anyone see Marcum literally shit himself on the mound last night? I was half expecting him to pull a Byung Yung Kim and start weeping after David Freese took him deep. I’m in no hurry to add guys who seem terrified to pitch on the big stage. Especially junk ballers like Marcum.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Was he terrified during his four bad starts to end the season, or is this just a playoff thing, Dr. UncleArgyle?

      • UncleArgyle

        Now I know I can’t qualify “terrifed” statistically, which to the Sabrmetic community means that it doesn’t/can’t exist, but if anyone actually “watched” the game I think it was pretty obvious that Marcum was very uncomfortable.

        • CP

          Perhaps he was uncomfortable because he was sucking, and not the other way around.

          http://xkcd.com/552/

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          I watched the game. I always watched his previous six starts when he got hit around as well. Could he be terrified? Sure. Could he also be hurt since this isn’t an isolated thing? That’s possible as well, but you ignored that possibility.

          • UncleArgyle

            Well, he sure looked uncomfortable to me. Anyway, the possiblity he was hurt didn’t cross my mind. Why would he be pitching then? Did he hide the injury? If so, isn’t that a bad thing? Remember Kevin Brown in game 7 of 2004? If you’re too hurt to pitch, don’t pitch.

            • CP

              If you’re too hurt to pitch, don’t pitch.

              Athletes are real men. They don’t want to be seen as wimps. We glorify athletes that ‘gut it out’ when they’re injured (see Pedroia and Youkilis in 2010) while ripping players that seem to be made of glass (see JD Drew 2010). Even though players that try to push through injuries don’t always help the team or end up getting hurt worse (see Pedroia and Youkilis in 2010).

              • UncleArgyle

                I should have quoted Bill Parcels: “Are you hurt or are you injured? If you’re hurt you can play. If you’re injured you can’t” The playoffs are no time for a player, especially a pitcher about to start an elimination game, to try and be a “real man” and cover up the fact that they physically can’t do what they need to do.

                • CP

                  The playoffs are exactly the time that players try and be a “real man” and cover up the fact that they physically can’t do what they need to do. Because it’s the playoffs.

                  Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. Last year, both CC pitched injured in the post season. He was clearly better than the alternatives (Sergio Mitre, anyone?), even though he wasn’t at 100%. What other options did the Brewers have?

                  Besides, with pitching, there’s a lot of possibility for discomfort and tightness that aren’t injuries (or even really hurting) that can prevent you from pitching at your best. He may not even know he’s truly injured – and may never know if it’s something that heals up during the offseason.

                  • UncleArgyle

                    Fair enough, I’d certainly take CC Sabathia at 80% over Mitre at 100%. But the bottom line is: 4 runs in 1 inning of a Home Elimination game is just awful. I don’t really care if he was injured, or scared, or constipated. Marcums performence last night was really really bad, and I have little interest in seeing him in pinstrips

                    • CP

                      Andy Pettitte had a 6.16 ERA through his first 5 post season starts. And then he went out and threw 8 shutout innings in game 2 of the World Series and suddenly became a big game pitcher.

                      In 1997, he gave up 4 runs in the first 4 innings of game 5 of the ALDS putting the Yankees in a big hole that they couldn’t climb out of.

                      In a potential clinching game 6 in 2001, he gave up 6 runs in 2 innings and basically ended the game before it began.

                      The moral is, don’t judge a pitcher on a just couple post season starts.

          • Jose M. Vazquez..

            If he is hurt that is another reason not to make the trade. A healthy player for an unknown health status of the other does not appeal to me.

        • Ted Nelson

          “Now I know I can’t qualify “terrifed” statistically, which to the Sabrmetic community means that it doesn’t/can’t exist”

          Dead wrong.

          It doesn’t mean it can’t exist. It means you can’t parade it around as fact.

          Suggesting he might not be “clutch” is different than stating as fact that you observed it.

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      Did anyone see Marcum literally shit himself on the mound last night?

      No, I don’t think anyone saw that.

      /pedantic bitch’d

      • seimiya

        Goddamnit, Bexy.

    • seimiya

      I’m almost 100% sure Marcum did not literally shit himself. As in, no poop came out of his ass.

  • EricVA

    Why not decline Swisher’s option and sign David Eckstein out of retirement. World Series MVP? That guy was awesome in the playoffs!

    Making player decisions on whether a guy has one hot week is useless and detrimental to the team. At any moment on any team some guys are slumping and others are hot. Given enough at-bats/starts, guys are terrible in the playoffs until they aren’t anymore.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

      I can literally sense a dozen eyeballs from the “post-season choker” crowd doing the swirly thing while reading that.

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

    I’ve liked Marcum since he was a Jay. I’m not a fan of creating a whole at one position in order to fill another. People love to throw things out like “well, we could just sign Carlos Beltran” as if this was a PS3 game.

    Marcum would be more interesting to pursue at the end of the season unless we’re CC-less next year, in which case creative solutions like this would have to be considered.

  • Paul VuvuZuvella (formerly Nuke LaDoosh)

    But but but, why did you leave out signing Pujols to play RF ?

    • Sarah

      That is the real question! Definitely need to sign him to play RF. And Prince to 3B (he can make the switch, just like Pujols) b/c ARod is a choker.

  • Freddy Garcia

    What’s the difference between him and me? and we can keep Swish…

    • JobaWockeeZ

      You can’t be serious.

      • CP

        Garcia: 3.62/4.12/4.36 in the AL East
        Marcum: 3.54/3.73/3.89 in the NL Central

        Marcum is probably a safer bet to repeat that next season, but they’re both soft tossing junk ballers and it wouldn’t surprise me much for Garcia to outpitch Marcum next year.

        And Swisher + Garcia is clearly better than Marcum.

        • Dave B

          Agreed

          • UncleArgyle

            I agree also

        • ItsATarp

          Too bad Garcia isn’t a lefty or else people would be lining up for his services..

  • Grover

    Cashman hit the jackpot with Garcia and Colon last year. This year I believe he resigns CC while also pursuing both Wilson and Darvish. I might offer Swisher to anyone that is willing to take Soriano for a prospect. Hughes moves back to the pen and eats Ayala’s and Soriano’s innings. There should be enough dough leftover to fill out a reasonable platoon in right and the bench.

    • David N

      Better get more back than a prospect for Swisher and Soriano.

      Yeah, Soriano is expensive, but until the starting pitching gets a lot better (which isn’t likely to happen this off-season), you’re going to need a shutdown bullpen, and Soriano’s an important part of that.

      You’d be hard pressed to find someone who would take on Soriano’s salary, too.

      • Ted Nelson

        “until the starting pitching gets a lot better (which isn’t likely to happen this off-season)”

        Not that I agree with them all around, but you are ignoring the scenario presented by the commenter. They specifically state that the Yankees, in their estimation, will pursue Wilson AND Darvish before their proposed trade which will push Hughes to the pen to replace Soriano.

  • Monteroisdinero

    So do folks think Swish will have a career year as Jorge did in the last year of a contract? He will be highly motivated for that one last big contract. I say keep him for his big year and then let him go to another team for the big money. He will then follow in the Werth/Crawford/Dunn path from 2013 onward.

    Kudos to Mike for suggesting to move Swish-I know he is one of his favorite players.

    • Paul VuvuZuvella (formerly Nuke LaDoosh)

      Word.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

      My gut tells me that Swish could have a more impactful final year of his contract than Marcum would.

      I’ve also eaten a shitload of Skittles today.

    • Jose M. Vazquez..

      I agree that the last year of a contract always brings out the best in most players. Thus, you keep him and if you don’t want to resign him he will be a type A free agent and you get two picks in the draft.

      • Ted Nelson

        “I agree that the last year of a contract always brings out the best in most players.”

        Reality doesn’t agree.

        • Jose M. Vazquez..

          Let me rephrase that. A lot of the players that are in their last year of a contract have very good years.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    I don’t see why the Brewers would do that. They don’t need Swisher but they need Marcum. There’s still a chance for them to resign Fielder and even if they don’t resign him there’ll be enough cheaper options at 1st on the FA market + they wouldn’t lose Marcum. Maybe they even give Mat Gamel a shot at 1st.

    And tbh I’m not sure if a FB-pitcher like Marcum would be a fit for the Yanks. He’s always been prone to homers.

    • A.D.

      Brewers would do it to have insurance/leverage against Fielder, where if they make the trade and re-sign Prince they either:

      A. Flip Swish
      B. Flip Hart
      C. Force Swish/Hart to CF

    • Ted Nelson

      I think Mike is assuming this trade happens after Prince has already walked.

      There will be cheaper options on the FA market, but that doesn’t make them better options. Not at all to say they would make the deal, but let’s at least see some suggestions. It does make some sense to bring in a middle-of-the-order bat to replace Fielder, and those rarely come cheaply in free agency.

  • Reggie C.

    There are better pitchers than Marcum who might be available this offseason. Maybe the Marlins think now is a sell high time on Anibal Sanchez.

    Sanchez had quite the breakout season. I wonder if the Marlins can lock Sanchez into an extension.

    • Ted Nelson

      There are definitely better pitchers than Marcum, but the question is really about the value involved in acquiring them. What would it take to get Sanchez vs. Marcum.

  • mt

    Joel Sherman has suggested that Swisher may underperfor.m in 2012 as he tightens up in his quest for a monster longterm deal. I have no idea but should be interesting to see whether Swishalicious can put together a monster year.

    • Monteroisdinero

      I think just the opposite. We have enough guys plus Montero to keep the pressure off Swish. I am not his biggest fan but I think he will hit 25-30 HR’s and drive in 90 and hit well above his career avg. of .254.

      Just bat him 6th and Montero 7th and he’ll be fine. This is what Joe will do and even though I disagree, it will make $wish some more moolah in 2012 because once again,

      Monteroisdinero :-)

    • MannyGeee

      Joel Sherman suggested that *__________ may underperform in **_____as he tightens up in his quest for a monster longterm deal.

      * Insert name of ANY impending FA in a contract year here
      ** Insert season number here

      (This could also read ‘Joel Sherman suggested that *__________ may play over his head in **_____as he stretches out in his quest for a monster longterm deal.)

      You know, for being an expert, that seems like a pretty vague assumption from Sherman. Any asshole with a keyboard could have ‘analyzed’ that… (no offense meant to any of your keyboards…)

  • well you know

    Swisher has no trade value at $10M. His huge platoon split in 2011 is a very big negative. People regard Tex as a blot on humanity for his struggles against RHP but Swisher had only a slightly better BA (and a worse OPS) himself. If his weakness were against LHP, not so much of a problem, but most pitchers throw with their right hand.

    Yes, he hit 23 home runs. He hit 24 home runs in 2008 and no one else wanted him when the White Sox were trying to give him away. .260 is better than .219 but not enough to make that much of a difference, particularly when he turned in a .232 vs RHP in 2011.

    His WAR stats are inflated by questionable defensive metrics. He gets pulled for defense in the late innings and that speaks more than anything else. With Posada gone, he is probably the worst baserunner on the team.

    Swish has been around enough that the rest of the league knows his flaws. Cashman will not expose his lack of value. His option will be picked up and he’ll be in RF in 2012 (IMHO).

    By way of perspective, Melky hit 40 points higher than Swish in 2011, had a higher OPS+, has a rocket for an arm, is a far better baserunner and doesn’t get pulled for defense. If Swish is worth $15M, as some would have it, what’s Melky worth, $20M?

    • Gonzo

      Looks like you don’t like UZR, but do you like wOBA?

      Swisher is 6th in the AL among OFers in wOBA among those that qualified with enough AB’s. He was behind, Joey Bats, Jacoby Ellsbury, Curtis Granderson, Alex Gordon and Josh Hamilton. Over the past three years he’s 4th in wOBA.

      • well you know

        Two main points.

        One, his wOBA for 2011 includes his good numbers vs LHP. My point is that possible trade partners will be put off by the very significant platoon split. The drawback of having someone who can’t hit RHP in the middle of your order was rather well demonstrated in the ALDS.

        Two, despite a big drop off in batting average (almost thirty points) in 2011, his wOBA was propped up by walking at a much higher rate. He was pitched differently because he primarily batted sixth instead of second, and was strategically walked by pitchers preferring to go after the weak hitters at the bottom of the order. I believe potential trade partners will be more put off by the weak batting average than impressed by the walks.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Swisher never had trouble hitting righties before this year. It’s possible he declined, but no smart team will write him off against righties based on ~370 PA in 2011.

          • well you know

            It’s accurate that Swisher did not show a significant platoon split before this year. I wouldn’t agree that he hasn’t had trouble hitting righties before because he has had years where he has had had low batting average from both sides.

            By the eyeball test, his swing looked long from the left side all year. If I were on the other side of a potential trade, I doubt I’d gamble in a context where I was both taking on contract and giving up significant player value.

            I realize that this particular proposal for Marcum involves a player with a significant salary who has his own flaws. So it’s not as out of bounds as most other fantasy proposals for Swish are likely to be (but I still don’t see it).

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              The only fantasy around here is “Swisher has no trade value at $10M.”

    • Ted Nelson

      Interesting theory…

  • Gonzo

    Swisher for Lawrie!

  • the Other Steve S.

    Gonna be a looooooong winter.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      The winter of 2008 felt like the longest winter EVER.

  • godfather

    please…marcum was throwing my age in the second half of the season (78), and swisher, despite a lousy start and end, had a solid season; he’s a flexible addition to the lineup…go fish

  • Doug

    Brewers will be looking for a 1B to replace Fielder: Gallardo for Montero

  • Rich in NJ

    It’s just tough to say no to a very specific trade because you’d prefer a better trade that you can’t suggest the player(s) involved in. We’d all prefer better trades.

    Actually, it’s not because I think, as I said, the Yankees have sufficient in-house solution for the rotation, and/or can go the Darvish route, and/or can look for Colon/Garcia type of options.

    Dominic Brown has been mentioned on other blogs I just read before logging on here. That would make sense because the Phillies may want an established bat to compensate for Howard’s likely absence.

  • Dr Strangepork

    Is their any reason that Arod can’t play RF? He’s got the arm and seems to have legs to shag fly balls, but I’ve never heard anyone suggest a move to RF or any reason as to why he couldn’t. All the talk has been about Arod getting more time at DH to keep him healthy/fresh. Wouldn’t RF have a similar therapeutic effect and allow Jesus to get more time at DH? I’m not saying move him to RF full time, but why not look at giving him ~54 games each at 3B/RF/DH. Hopefully keeps him healthier, and gives the Yankees more roster flexibility.

  • PortlandYankee

    Bad move.

    Dump one our our in his prime hitters while other parts of the lineup (Tex, A-Rod, Jeter) are in decline.

    Trade a guy who could net us two draft picks in 2013 (Swish should be Type A) for a pitcher who either wears down at the end of the season (happened last year, too) or is hiding an injury.

    If you’re going to look to free up money by trading a $10 million role player, trade Soriano to a team that needs a closer. The Dodgers just got through paying Broxton $7 million, and it looks like he’s done. Trade Soriano to LAD and agree to pay 1/3rd of his remaining contract (about $8 million).

  • YankeeJew

    How about a Nick Swisher for Chad Billingsley trade?? Don Mattingly has already went on record as saying the Dodgers need offense this offseason.