Yankees: How Nick Swisher’s Free Agent Deal Helped Land Aaron Judge

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge smiles. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge smiles. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) /

You can thank Nick Swisher for helping to land Aaron Judge in a Yankees uniform

In November of 2008, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman traded Wilson Betemit, Jeffery Marquez, and Jhonny Nunez to the Chicago White Sox for Nick Swisher and minor league pitcher Kanekoa Texeira. Swisher went on to bring his laid back vibes to the Bronx clubhouse for four seasons.

In his first year in New York, the Yankees won the 2009 World Series, and Swisher proved to be a steady player in his four years in pinstripes. He hit .268 for the Yanks with 105 home runs, 134 doubles and 349 RBI.  Outside of the 2010 American League Division Series against the Minnesota Twins when he hit .333 during the Bombers sweep, Swisher struggled in the postseason.

In November of 2012, he declined a $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Yankees, which allowed him to hit the free-agent market.  There proved to be plenty of suitors for his services at 32 years old.

Swisher ended up signing four-year, $56 million contract with the Cleveland Indians. A fifth-year $14 million vesting option brought the contract to $70 million. With Swisher signing with the Indians, the Yanks received a compensation draft pick in the 2013 MLB draft.

Who did the Yankees choose with that pick in 2013? Aaron Judge. Drafted 32nd in the 2013 draft, Judge broke onto the scene in his first full season for the club in 2017 with 52 home runs and 114 RBI. Despite battling injuries over the last two years, he showed right away the promise he has for what he hopes is a long and storied career in Pinstripes.

Judge has become a fan favorite in New York and the face of the franchise, much like a younger Derek Jeter did. We’re not saying that he will have the same type of career that Jeter did in a Yankees uniform, but the Yankees have an abundance of young stars that they have built around him with Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar. Brett Gardner is the elder statesman on the roster, but without a doubt, Judge is the current face of the New York Yankees and at 28 years old, he could hold that position for years to come.

Judge has a chance to be a staple in the Yankees lineup for years to come. One of the best hitters in the game, Yankee fans can thank Nick Swisher for helping to bring Judge to the Bronx.