Yankees Trade Options: Moving Nick Swisher


Since the Yankees exercised Nick Swisher‘s option earlier this winter it has pretty much been assumed that the Yanks would use Swish as tempting trade-bait if the right deal came along. About three weeks ago the chatter surrounding a possible Swisher and Nunez for Jurrjens trade sprang up and has since died down. But the Braves still need an out fielder and a shortstop. And despite Brian Cashman’s proclamations of faith and his stated desire to be patient this winter, I have to believe that the Yankees are still in need of a top of the rotation starting pitcher.

Whatever might be going through the minds of the Braves and Yankees front-office folks, our friends over at Tomahawk Take see Swisher as a good solution to their left field woes. And this got me thinking: just how easy would it be to move Swisher as a trade piece? On the plus side, the guys at Tomahawk Take note Swisher’s consistent RBI production and ability to score runs over the last 6-7 years. Indeed, while Swish isn’t going to hit anywhere near .300, you can solidly count on him to drive in around 70 runs and score at least 80 runs himself. On the down side, Swisher is only under contract for the 2012 season. Given that and the fact that he will make $10.25M next season, any team that gets him as part of a trade deal can expect to base a deal for 2013 and beyond on that number. (Unless, of course, Swisher has a terrible 2012 that causes his value to drop. In which case the receiving team is losing out anyway by not getting what they bargained for when they made the deal.)

And speaking of that $10.25M contract, the guys at Tomahawk Take made a great point in noting that Brian McCann will only make $11M next season. While Swisher’s deal is moderate (dare I say affordable!) in terms of the Yankees payroll, it translates into the expensive range for many MLB teams. Of course, if a deal comes along that the Yankees feel is too good to pass up, I would imagine the Yankees would be willing to eat a few million dollars of Swisher’s contract if that is the only thing that stood in the way of the deal getting done.

Of course, we’re in the middle of December now, so the price teams are willing to give up to meet their needs is much more conservative than it might be five or six weeks from now when teams still have holes in their lineups and are starting to feel the crunch of the season approaching. Either way, if a deal doesn’t get done this offseason, look for Swisher to be on the table for any deals the Yankees might make leading up to the trade deadline in July. And maybe Brian Cashman should take a page out of Suzyn Waldman’s book and highlight the fact that “Nick Swisher runs out to the bleachers with his arms open like he’s going to invite everyone to his house for cupcakes.” That’s got to count for something, right?