Chance For Redemption

Dave · January 6, 2009 at 12:29 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

From Stone’s piece:

“I’d love to have an outfield bat, and I’d love to have another infielder,” Zduriencik said, listing the Mariners’ remaining priorities. “And everyone is looking for pitching.”

From Rosenthal this afternoon:

Nick Swisher might not be a Yankee for long. The signing of free agent Mark Teixeira eliminated any chance of Swisher playing first base, and the team’s outfield surplus almost certainly will lead to a trade.

Nick Swisher is headed into his age 28 season. He’s guaranteed $22 million over the next three seasons, and has an option for 2012 that could turn the deal into $31 million over four years. Depending on whether the option is picked up, the AAV of his contract is between $7 and $8 million per year for his 28-30/31 seasons.

Here’s Swisher’s FanGraphs Win Values for his career:

2005: 2.1 wins
2006: 3.4 wins
2007: 3.8 wins
2008: 0.9 wins

Yes, he had a bad year last year. It happens. His skillset remained in tact, however – his walk, strikeout, and home run rates were all right in line with where they’d always been. His batted ball profile was unchanged. His batting average on balls in play just tanked and pulled his batting average down to .219, and that’s not the kind of thing that screams “fell off a cliff”.

The CHONE projections have him at .250/.360/.450 for 2009, which would make him a +10 run hitter. Defensively, he’s above average in a corner, which is where he’d play on the M’s. Call him +5 runs as a left fielder. He’s also a switch hitter without much of a platoon split, and he’s durable enough to play everyday. That makes him a +2.75 win player for 2009.

Depending on how well you think he’ll age, he’s probably +7 to +10 wins over the first three years of the contract. $22 million in salary for 7 to 10 wins over the next three years. This is the kind of guy the M’s should be interested in – an above average switch hitter with a flyball swing that’s perfect for Safeco and who could step right into the middle of the line-up on a daily basis.

The M’s have the extra pieces needed to get the deal done. While I’m as big a fan of bargain shopping as anyone, there aren’t many above average players left on the market, and there aren’t any who are headed into their age 28 season and fit the M’s roster as well as Swisher does. They missed their first chance to pick him up on the cheap, but hopefully they can see that opportunity is knocking again.

Nick Swisher please. Thank you.


53 Responses to “Chance For Redemption”

  1. JMHawkins on January 6th, 2009 8:59 pm

    Hopefully he’s been with the Yankees long enough to cure him of ever having that wiskbroom reappear on his chin. Or maybe it was his girlfriend.

    I’d love to add a +2.75 win player (who also seems like a Good Guy(tm)), but I’m worried about the same thing as Ep.Cow., e.g. the asking price. But, unlike in past years, I’m not nervous. I don’t think Zduriencik will get taken to the cleaners – if the price is too high, he’ll say thanks-but-no-thanks and walk away.

    I think the worst case is we don’t get Swisher, and that’s a whole lot better worst-case than we’ve had in the past.

  2. joser on January 6th, 2009 9:26 pm

    Yuni? Why the hell would the Yanks want Yuni? Sure Jeter is getting old, and he’s already not the best starting SS on his own team, but… WTF? The only M’s SS the Yankees might be interested in is Carlos Trufinel — and that’s too high a price to pay for Swisher.

    The Yanks wanted Washburn when they were in a pennant race and were running low on starting pitchers. That was six months and $243.5M ago. In case you haven’t noticed, their rotation is just a little better now. Sure, they might not be able to reach a deal with Pettite, but other than being younger Washburn isn’t better (walks more, strikes out less, gives up more HRs). There might be a deal to be done, but the Yanks aren’t over the same barrel they were last July.

    Meanwhile, as a flyball pitcher backed by a much better outfield, Washburn very likely will look significantly better by this July. If the M’s aren’t still contending by then, that would be the time to deal a superficially “rejuvenated” Washburn (who will probably have some asinine new theory about it).

  3. pgreyy on January 7th, 2009 12:54 am

    Tek Jansen wrote:

    Nick Swisher struck out exactly zero times while wearing a Yankees uniform.

    Well, I guess there’s nothing I like about him, then.

    (I guess I was a bit eager in re-assigning my memories of Nick from last year in one set of white & black uniforms for another. My bad, and I will attempt to refrain from such trans-posterior comments in the future.)

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