Yanks “likely” picking up Swisher’s option

What Went Wrong And Right: Trade Deadline
Open Thread: World Series Game Two

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but after talking to “executives, agents and various baseball wiseguys” this week, ESPNNY’s Wallace Matthews reports that the Yankees will pick up Nick Swisher‘s $10.25 million option for 2012. While a portion of the fanbase loudly disagrees with this, it really is the smart move. Even if the Yankees would rather have someone else in right field, they’re better off picking up Swisher’s option and trading him. That would at least get them something in return, something that they could perhaps use to acquire Swisher’s replacement. Still, I wouldn’t bet against Swisher standing in right field on Opening Day 2012.

On a side note, Matthews mentions a frequent argument of Swisher detractors: his poor postseason numbers. In nine postseason series he’s hitting .169/.295/.323 in 147 PA. It makes me think back to Tino Martinez, who hit .209/.293/.306 in his first 150 postseason PA. From that point through the end of his first Yankees tenure he hit .280/.364/.434 in 217 PA. So to say that Swisher can’t turn it around is patently absurd, as we can see from a recent Yankee example.

What Went Wrong And Right: Trade Deadline
Open Thread: World Series Game Two
  • John


  • Gonzo

    I agree with the the pickup of the option. However, and anti-Swisher guy pointed out that Type A compensation might be worth more than what they could get in return in a trade.

    Just wondering on what you guys’ thoughts are on that.

    • steve (different one)

      The Type A compensation will likely be there next year too, so now the decision is “2 picks now” vs “a year of solid RFer plus 2 picks in 2013”

      Unless now that Ozzie is gone, they could turn swisher+ into Danks, I imagiene they’ll just keep him…

      • Gonzo

        Good point!

      • radnom

        The Type A compensation will likely be there next year too, so now the decision is “2 picks now” vs “a year of solid RFer plus 2 picks in 2013?

        Obviously this makes it the smart move to keep him if you definitely want Swisher in RF next year (which I hope they do).

        The real question is though if the Yankees decided they wanted to move in a different direction for 2012 RF, would the two picks be worth more or less than the return in a trade?

        I know Mike keeps beating the drum that they could get more back in a trade, but Im not sure who he thinks is going to cough up value for a 1 year corner outfield rental. I’m not saying it can’t happen, I just don’t think its all that black and white.

        Luckily this is all hypothetical, since they really have no reason not to leave Swisher as the starting RF.

        • Dave203

          If we could pull off Danks for Swisher, that would be worth it IMO. I’d give up 2 picks for Danks. Outside of that, I am not sure what other trade options are truly out there.

          Keep in mind, if Swisher were to get hurt, there are no guarantees on his type A status. Not that I think he will, but if he misses significant time, he’d likely lose his type A.

  • Gonzo

    Also, kind of ironic that Xavier Nady is a free agent this year.

    What kind of contract is Nady looking at?

    • FIPster Doofus

      I don’t think Nady merits anything more than a spring training tryout with someone at this point. He hasn’t been remotely effective since 2008.

      • Gonzo

        I think many years from now, he’s going to be an answer to a trivia question. Who was the opening day RF’er for the 2009 Championship Team.

  • steve (different one)

    Wallace Matthews is dumber than a box of hammers.

  • John
    • Gonzo

      Excellent! Thank you! Let me get gack to you in a second.

      • Gonzo

        Definitely looks like they are better off trading him than getting picks. That’s based on what I think he would get in a trade.

        • Gonzo

          *Not advocating trading him.

          • Highland Cow

            You never know. The Yankees could find themselves in a position to be “selling” at the end of 2012!

  • LiterallyFigurative

    I agree with picking up Swisher’s option, and I don’t have a problem with him in RF. From an eye-test perspective, he seems to be getting better on defense.

    And even if you were to remove Swisher, who would play Rf and give the Yanks the offense?

  • LiterallyFigurative

    I know this will sound nuts, but what do you guys think of BJ Upton in RF for the Yanks?

    He’s faster, which helps on defense and on the bases, and has a clutch postseason record (for those who assail Swisher’s unclutchness). And his arm can’t be much worse or inaccurate than Swisher’s.

    His BA isn’t great, but neither was Swisher’s before he came to NY. He’s got an OBP .100 higher than his average. Having him work with K-Long might get his BA back on track. His power #’s aren’t much less than Swisher’s, and getting out of the Trop 72 times can only help.

    An OF of Gardner, Granderson and Upton would be amazing defensively.

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

      I’d fucking kill for BJ Upton. He won’t be cheap though, he’s good and I think people know it now.

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

        Oh, damnit I confused him with better Upton.

        Kill me.

    • Dave203

      Tampa likely wouldn’t consider trading Upton inside the division. So if you’re talking FA after 2012, I’d put all my money in Kemp and forget Upton.

      Gardner, Kemp, Granderson would be ridiculous offensively and defensively. I’ll will try not to get my hopes up, but that would be a monster signing.

  • Ross in CT

    “Who would play Rf and give the Yanks the offense?”

    Easy one: Michael Cuddyer.

    And he can actually reach the infield from the right field corner, and has proven he can hit in the playoffs – against the Yankees, no less.

    No brainer – which is exactly why it will never happen…

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      Except Cuddyer is a grossly inferior player.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Pick up a player that’s older, gets hurt more often, doesn’t get on base as frequently, hits for less power, and will cost more money over more years? Yeah, I does seem like a move that would require no brain to make.

    • FIPster Doofus

      The real no-brainer is keeping Swisher and not replacing him with a worse player.

    • steve (different one)

      I did enjoy the last line considering it’s a pretty crappy idea. Because “postseason hitting” is a skill, which is why Cuddyer has hit in some series and not in others. He just chooses when to use it.

    • vin
      • FIPster Doofus

        You mean the guy who has been worth a whopping 3.9 fWAR in nearly 3,000 plate appearances?

    • Dave203

      I wouldn’t call it a “no brainer” but more of a backup option if we were to trade Swisher for a pitcher. The problem is, Cuddyer would want more than a yr contract and I wouldn’t want anyone standing between the Yanks and Kemp.

  • Mike HC

    No brainer to pick up his option. He is definitely far from untouchable though if a trade comes along that the Yanks like. Doubt it though, and I’m also betting he ends up back in right for next year. I’m a fan, obviously wished he performed better in the postseason though.

    • vin

      Couldn’t agree more.

  • Miles Davis

    swisher in 2012, Kemp in 2013

    • FIPster Doofus


  • EvilleHomeofDonnieBaseball

    I think he brings a lot to the team and not just with his bar or glove. Having a guy with his attitude and free spirit around is rather helpful IMO.

    • LiterallyFigurative

      That is something that isn’t quantified in stats: How a team fits. On a team where your biggest stars are serious and quiet (Tex, Alex, Jeter), having a smiling Cano, a fun-loving Swisher, or youthful exuberance (like Nunez and Cervelli) can bring (and keep) a team together in those dog days.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Just curious if folks think we could win with Jones/Dickerson/Golson in rf platoon of some type and Swisher gone for a pitcher(s) of some equivalent $wi$h value. We have alot of offense and Montero hopefully gets 500 abs.

    • Dave203

      It would depend on the pitcher obviously. Overall though, even if the Yanks were to trade Swisher for a pitcher, I find it unlikely they would stick with Golson/Dickerson (forget Jones) as a platoon. They would go find a way to pick someone else up.

    • Mike (generic version)

      They could win because no single offensive player is critical to the Yankees. The advantage of a deep lineup. A-Rod was leading all MLB 3B’man in WAR through mid-June, and the Yankees continued to win after he basically missed the second half of the year. Cano would be the most difficult to replace simply because of the offense he provides from the secondbase position, yet even Cano could go down for thirty games or so and not dramatically impact the Yankees.

      Yet I don’t think that RF platoon would score all that well. Blending two 4th OFers in Jones and Dickerson, and a 5th OFer in Golson, will be exposed over the course of the season. The success of players like those mentioned is picking and choosing when they play to rest others. Once they comprise being your team’s everyday RFer they’ll be even less productive.

      Yes, the Yankees would still win, but the Yankees would never go into a year planning for those guys to be their RFer.

      Pick up Swish’s option and then continue to explore the market for something better. I’d love to see Choo playing right and I wonder if the Indians would be willing to move him now that he’s about to get expensive.

  • YankeeGrunt

    Swisher’s postseason problems are not about sample size. He’s a terrible hitter behind in the counts and good pitchers, the 1-2-3 pitchers you see in postseason and the elite relievers and specialists you see in the late innings, are going to throw first pitch strikes against him. I like Swish, but it’s not a problem that is going to fix itself.

    • mustang



      Probably one if not the best comment I seen here on any issue.

      Extremely well done.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Agree with this too. Walk or strikeout is a Swisher post season.

  • celerino sanches

    What about Nunez in right. The guy is going to be a great offensive player. Not so sure he is ever going to be a good infielder. He needs to play, would steal 60 bases if he played everyday.

    • http://google Jim Legg

      I hold my breath every time a ball is hit to Nunez in the infield … so an outfield position might be the answer. No question he has a lot of upside offensively — good bat, great set of wheels, but is sometimes asleep on the basepaths and gets picked off.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    NELSON CRUZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mustang

    The free agent outfield market being what it is and so many teams with pitching lacking offense this is a no brainer.

    1- He can stay and play right.

    2- He can be trade for a need.

    3- if they trade Montero he can play DH, back-up first, and the outfield.

    But they should look to replace him in some way if they can because of what YankeeGrunt pointed out so well.

  • greg

    most definitely not “patently absurd”. the sample size ain’t small, and honestly I’m tired of watching him strikeout/popout with runners on base. Big difference between Tino and Swisher: the Yankees won a lot of championships while Tino was slumping. Swisher’s Yankees aren’t. sign him and flip him.

    • Billion$Bullpen

      “the Yankees won a lot of championships while Tino was slumping. Swisher’s Yankees aren’t. sign him and flip him.”

      So the Yankees always also “won a lot of championships” while they had adidas as their official gear sponsor and now with nike they have won only one world series so lets get rid of nike

      Thats like the dumb comments I have seen from so called Yanks fans that say Donnie Baseball was not a great player because he has no rings.

  • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

    Oh, Gawd!

    Each new defense of Swisher is another “grasping at straws” defense.

    Pick up the option and trade him for a starter.
    Then trade for a RFer. Free agents aren’t the answer to this problem. Creativity within the trade market a la 2009 is the answer.

  • Ellis

    Swisher led the team in OBP. What are we complaining about again?

  • greg

    if Adidas can somehow hit in the 5 hole and produce a better line than Swisher during the last 3 post-seasons, then I’m completely on board with what you’re saying.

  • Mike T

    Always enjoyed the “Swisher doesn’t hit good pitchers” argument. Career OPS vs. a few top of the rotation starters (20 or more PAs)

    Felix Hernandez .881
    Jon Lester .942
    Cliff Lee .835
    CJ Wilson 1.019
    David Price 1.268
    CC Sabathia .814
    Jered Weaver .790
    Roy Halladay .983

    • Tim

      I know. And since when it is a crime to not do well against good pitchers? Isn’t that why they are “good”? Are there any hitters that consistently do well against good pitchers?

  • AJ Burnett

    Hey – this is really making me happy. At least for once everyone’s irrational ire is pointed at someone other than me!

  • http://riveraveblues sandy g

    easy solution.pick up swisher’s option.trade swisher and teixeira for a front line pitcher,put montero at 1b and go from there

    • True fan

      Sure will be easy to replace those 60-70 homers and 175-200 RBI’s won’t it lol yeah right