The one thing I’ve noticed that every team needs is a guy like Nick Swisher. He’s goofy, quirky, funny, but still can be serious at the same time. Swisher lets his teammates remember that at the end of the day, baseball is still just a game of fun. However, will there be a time when Swisher’s presence is gone from the clubhouse? I’d hate to think so, but the reality is there. Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson will be free agents after 2013. This predicament begs the question of whether or not the New York Yankees can keep Swisher beyond the end of this season when he will be a free agent. With the Yankees being hit hard by a luxury tax, the Boss’ (may he rest in peace) ways of buying who you wanted, when you wanted, are long gone. Brian Cashman is a smart man and has invested in many deals like Michael Pineda that speak volumes about the future and that the money is being spent on guys who can keep the team going. Personally, I’d love to keep Swisher beyond 2012, but keeping Cano and Granderson might be a higher priority on the Yankees’ list.
Swisher’s future has been a rising topic in the world of the Yankees over the past couple years. I typically have seen a lot of negative statements towards him and a lot of people think he should be replaced. Okay, but then by who? To piggyback off of Jimmy’s article about Justin Upton, why would the Yankees want Upton? They already have to worry about paying Cano and Granderson and may lose Swisher because of it, so why on earth would the Yankees want Upton (or any other star athlete) and a salary that is similar to Nick’s? If the Yankees are contemplating getting rid of Swisher to help pay other contracts, then there is no room to sign anyone at the same level, right? Swisher is in my mind, a one of a kind player that every team likes to have and I don’t think we need to get rid of him. However, when it comes down to it, Cashman will decide not only on the cost, but also the productivity of the players.
Throughout his Yankee career (he’s in his fourth year with the Bombers), Swisher has batted .266 with 94 home runs, 307 RBIs and 292 runs scored. He also has a .363 on base percentage while playing in New York. These stats are better than his four years with the Oakland A’s and it’s pretty good production from an outfielder. Unless you have an outfielder like Josh Hamilton or Carlos Gonzalez, who are high average hitters, then Swisher’s production is more than enough for the Yankee line-up.
In 2012, Swisher is currently batting .263 with 13 home runs, 51 RBIs and 36 runs scored. For a good portion of this season, Swisher lead the team in RBIs, but now Mark Teixeira leads that category. Swisher’s 2012 numbers are fairly decent, with Tex and Cano being the only two Yankees leading him consistently in most offensive categories. On the flip side of the ball, Swisher’s defense is just as good. He’s only committed two errors in 167 total chances to make an out, which gives him a fielding percentage of .998. Swisher has also helped turn three double plays.
However, while Swisher may be the caliber of player we need for the future, when it comes to money and avoiding the luxury tax, cuts must be made and in some unfortunate areas. While Swisher does have a combination of both speed and power, neither category stands too far out from the other. Cano is a name the Yankees will more than likely want to hold on to for the next half decade, so the money for Cano will go up. Swisher’s has filled a vital role in the Yankees’ plans through this season. I don’t really see why he must be replaced unless it’s because they cannot afford him. I would hate to see Swisher not be a Yankee anymore, but the fact of the matter is, the Yankees invested a lot more into Cano and Granderson, so in reality, they’ll be the ones to stay in the end.