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.

Comments

53 Responses to “Chance For Redemption”

  1. CMC_Stags on January 6th, 2009 12:35 pm

    If you pick up Swisher, is that the surest sign that Wlad is either out of town or spending 2009 in Tacoma? Swisher, Gutierrez, and Ichiro! with Chavez as your 4th OF?

    Does anyone know what the Yankees want/need in a trade? I would hope not much as they are looking at it as a salary dump.

  2. bermanator on January 6th, 2009 12:38 pm

    Do you see a package that would make the Yankees jump up and deal?

    Otherwise, even accepting what Rosenthal says as fact, there isn’t a sense of urgency for the Yankees to make a quick deal and even then I would expect they would try to move Nady instead.

  3. Gump on January 6th, 2009 12:43 pm

    I have liked Swisher even when he played for the A’s. Not when he kept getting clutch hits against us but feel he would be a great upgrade to the team. Would be a nice DH filler as well.

  4. Dave on January 6th, 2009 12:46 pm

    Wlad doesn’t really have a future in Seattle. He’s out of options, so he’s not going to Tacoma. The best bet is just to trade him.

    The Yankees don’t have needs – they just want the best package of talent coming back. The M’s are in a position where they have some interesting surplus talent. There’s a deal to be made here.

  5. thewyrm on January 6th, 2009 12:47 pm

    I have always been a Swisher fan. I would love to see him in an M’s uniform. I was at a game one time where the Make a Wish foundation invited a young boy with an illness to circle the bases at Safeco. Nick was the only Athletic to stay out on the field and cheer the boy on, even gave him a high five as he rounded third. I don’t know why, but that image has just stayed with me and I will always like Nick Swisher.

  6. BillyJive on January 6th, 2009 12:48 pm

    I concur 100% Nick Swisher please!!

  7. bermanator on January 6th, 2009 12:52 pm

    The M’s are in a position where they have some interesting surplus talent.

    I’m less optimistic that “interesting surplus talent” will get anyone Swisher. I assume that Cashman and the Yankees have a better sense and appreciation for his value than the White Sox apparently did.

  8. coasty141 on January 6th, 2009 12:54 pm

    Dave, When you look for someone falling off a cliff, what do you look for? I noticed Andruw Jones and Shef had very low BABIP (like Swisher) but also had decreasing LD rates (unlike Swisher). Is LD rate a indicator of someone that isn’t primed for a rebound? Anything else?

  9. joser on January 6th, 2009 1:01 pm

    Swisher is apparently cut from the Jaimie Moyer cloth when it comes to charities and good works. Plus he has a hot girlfriend (not just another ex-model with an unpronounceable name , she’s an ex-model smart enough to start her own modeling agency).

  10. scotje on January 6th, 2009 1:09 pm

    Dave, When you look for someone falling off a cliff, what do you look for? I noticed Andruw Jones and Shef had very low BABIP (like Swisher) but also had decreasing LD rates (unlike Swisher). Is LD rate a indicator of someone that isn’t primed for a rebound? Anything else?

    I think if you see a negative trend in things like walk rate, K rate, LD%, it should set off warning bells. Declining walk rates and increasing K rates are a pretty good indication that a hitter is losing his ability to judge the strike zone and/or recognize pitches. Similarly, a declining LD% might be a sign that the hitter is losing bat speed and power.

    If those kinds of stats are going in the wrong direction and the hitter isn’t injured, it’s generally not a good sign. 🙂

  11. pgreyy on January 6th, 2009 1:10 pm

    Why don’t I like Nick Swisher?

    I’ve NEVER liked him…and reading here that the numbers suggest that he might be a good pick-up for the M’s made my stomach grumble.

    I don’t doubt that the numbers work and I’m putting my trust in The Z to put a team on the field that makes sense rather than one that panders to the fan’s distorted sense of “liking” or “disliking.”

    But, Swisher? Ewwwww…

    For me, the best possible thing about Nick Swisher EVER (other than his reminding me of those years I got to watch his dad play for the Cubs on WGN) was watching him strike-out consistently in a Yankees uniform last year.

    Trust in The Z. The Z is wise, the Z is good. If The Z concurs with Dave, then I’ll be a Swisher cheerin’ M’s fan this year.

  12. bakomariner on January 6th, 2009 1:16 pm

    I have always been a fan of Swisher…he’s probably the only Athletic I can say that about…

    This would be awesome…he can play any outfield spot, 1B, or DH…

    They should send Wash, Yuni and WLAD for Swisher…

    I am in love with the idea of Swisher coming over…

  13. Secret Agent Man on January 6th, 2009 1:16 pm

    Beltre-Yuni/Hairston-Lopez-Swish/Branyan-Clement. I’m salivating just thinking about it.

  14. Secret Agent Man on January 6th, 2009 1:19 pm

    But I don’t see why the Yanks would want Wash or Wlad. Yuni, now there’s a possibility.

  15. msb on January 6th, 2009 1:19 pm

    Wlad doesn’t really have a future in Seattle.

    but… “Balentien may solve M’s power shortage”

  16. bakomariner on January 6th, 2009 1:23 pm

    WLAD needs to go…

  17. Bilbo on January 6th, 2009 1:23 pm

    for similar (slightly more) money, I would rather have Dunn and not trade anything to the Yank-mes. Plus, Swisher would block some of the OF we have coming up after this year and doesn’t have as much value as a 1B/DH if that is where he would move to.

  18. bakomariner on January 6th, 2009 1:28 pm

    Bilbo-

    Swish could play LF this year, and take over at 1B next year to replace Branyan…Branyan only has a one year deal…and unless he absolutely tears it up, we have to assume he’s just a “stop-gap” player…

    I think they need to trade for Swish and sign Dunn and Hudson…

    We could honestly compete for the West if they made those three moves…

    ICHIRO!
    Lopez
    Beltre
    Dunn
    Branyan
    Swisher
    Clement/Joh
    Gutierrez
    Hudson

    Wow…

  19. Dave on January 6th, 2009 1:31 pm

    Well, this thread went down hill fast.

  20. Bilbo on January 6th, 2009 1:36 pm

    Does Swisher have as much value at 1B? Positional adjustments being what they are, I wouldn’t think so since he derives a lot of his value from being above average in LF.

    I’d rather take a shot on Baldelli on a 1-2 yr deal(since Dave doesn’t want to talk about Dunn any more).

  21. Gump on January 6th, 2009 1:36 pm

    We could honestly compete for the West if they made those three moves…

    ICHIRO!
    Lopez
    Beltre
    Dunn
    Branyan
    Swisher
    Clement/Joh
    Gutierrez
    Hudson

    Wow…

    All of these moves, That is alot of ifs…..

  22. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on January 6th, 2009 1:46 pm

    Swisher would certainly be interesting. Any ideas on who aside from Wlad could really, actually be sent over to appease the Yankees? Also, since he has played so much 1B, i say leave the OF as Ichiro, Gutz and Chavez with Swish at 1B. No one could even begin to top that defensive outfield.
    Aaron M.

  23. asuray on January 6th, 2009 1:46 pm

    Swish could play LF this year, and take over at 1B next year to replace Branyan…Branyan only has a one year deal…and unless he absolutely tears it up, we have to assume he’s just a “stop-gap” player…

    I think they need to trade for Swish and sign Dunn and Hudson…

    We could honestly compete for the West if they made those three moves…

    ICHIRO!
    Lopez
    Beltre
    Dunn
    Branyan
    Swisher
    Clement/Joh
    Gutierrez
    Hudson

    Wow…

    That’s a pretty significant outpouring of money. I’m not sure how you would justify paying the kind of money Hudson is going to sign for and getting in return a guy who plays potentially suspect and declining defense at 2nd and who you evidently value offensively as nothing more than a 9 hitter.

  24. galaxieboi on January 6th, 2009 1:46 pm

    Woooooooooooooo!!!!! Rosterbation!!!

  25. galaxieboi on January 6th, 2009 1:46 pm

    [overexcited]

  26. Tek Jansen on January 6th, 2009 1:48 pm

    “For me, the best possible thing about Nick Swisher EVER (other than his reminding me of those years I got to watch his dad play for the Cubs on WGN) was watching him strike-out consistently in a Yankees uniform last year.”

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

  27. Mere Tantalisers on January 6th, 2009 1:49 pm

    what kind of talent do you see the Yankees looking for in return? I mean what level of minors and what grade.

    Also, any chance, in your opinion, of offloading Washburn to them? They do need a pitcher and Pettitte reportedly turned them down on 10 million. In Washburn they get a pitcher for 10 mil and maybe 75% of Pettitte’s production.

  28. TomG on January 6th, 2009 1:51 pm

    What would the Yankees really need in return? Prospects, obviously, but New York isn’t really the type to trade for prospects. They’re pretty stacked all over the diamond and their rotation is pretty stuffed as well. Relief help, maybe? Centerfielder?

  29. msb on January 6th, 2009 1:52 pm

    would they like Jeff Nelson back?

  30. Teej on January 6th, 2009 1:56 pm

    Good hitter, solid corner fielder, switch hitter, fun guy, very reasonable contract, underrated coming off a brutally unlucky year . . . yes yes yes.

  31. Philly M's fan on January 6th, 2009 1:57 pm

    We could honestly compete for the West if they made those three moves…

    ICHIRO!
    Lopez
    Beltre
    Dunn
    Branyan
    Swisher
    Clement/Joh
    Gutierrez
    Hudson

    Wow…

    All of these moves, That is alot of ifs…..

    If my aunt had balls she would be my uncle…

  32. asuray on January 6th, 2009 2:02 pm

    *speculation alert*

    I wonder if they’d do Swisher for Wlad straight up? Maybe if they are overvaluing his power and think he can actually play CF? I doubt they’d take Washburn’s contract, thought they did try to nab him last year and are having trouble trying to sign Pettite. Maybe they’d be interested in giving up on one old lefty in exchange for picking up another?

  33. CMC_Stags on January 6th, 2009 2:18 pm

    Swisher career UZR/150 numbers:

    1B: -5.1 (1645.2 innings)
    LF: 6.3 (889.2)
    CF: -10.3 (1019.1)
    RF: 14.2 (1590.0)

    -5 UZR/150 @ 1B – 12.5 Runs of positional adjustment = -17.5 Runs of defensive adjustment for Swisher @ 1B (same as a DH)
    +10 UZR/150 @ RF/LF – 7.5 Runs of positional adjustment = +2.5 Runs of defensive adjustment for Swisher @ RF/LF

    I don’t think – based on those – that I want to see Swisher as our long term fix at 1B. He’s probably about a +10 RF/LF going forward which is where he would be most valuable.

    If the M’s were to expend trade resources (which are fairly limited right now) for Swisher, they’d be upgrading from a season of Endy Chavez/Wlad in LF to a season of Swisher in LF. Based on the James/Marcel projections on Fangraphs, he’ll be at +5 Runs Offensively and if he plays in the outfield we can expect +2.5 Runs Defensively. That is a +2.75 win player or about a 2 win upgrade over what we have now.

    But could those trade chips be used more effectively in getting a new SS? Yuni will more than likely be between a 0 and 1 win player in 2009. I’d prefer to see the M’s spend their trade chips on an upgrade there over an upgrade to the 3rd outfield spot as I think the upgrade at SS would be just as valuable in wins. I think that is more valuable as the fact is that the M’s could still sign an upgrade at LF from the Free Agent market as well as an upgrade to DH, while their is no upgrade to SS (outside of Orlando Cabrera).

    What would you choose if you’re the M’s (assuming the same trade package that you need to use for Swisher would net you a +2 to 2.5 win SS):

    a) Trade for Swisher and sign Orlando Cabrera.
    b) Trade for a SS and sign Abreau/Dunn/etc.

    I think it is safe to assume that Abreau/Dunn/etc. are going to demand less money in this market than Cabrera. Some of them are also not going to cost a 2nd round pick.

    But if my options were to have Wlad or Swisher, I’d take Swisher every day of the week.

    Dave – who do you see as extra pieces from the M’s that other teams would have interest in (thus excluding Washburn/Batista/Silva)? I’m assuming it is:

    Rob Johnson
    Wlad
    Yuni (if a new SS can be found first)
    Heilman
    Feierabend

  34. eponymous coward on January 6th, 2009 2:18 pm

    Prospects, obviously, but New York isn’t really the type to trade for prospects.

    I would argue this would be the BEST time to trade for high-ceiling prospects that aren’t due for a while. If they move up fast, great… if not, oh well, it’s not like you NEEDED them in 2009. In fact, the Yankees historically have been best WHEN they produce talent from their system in the modern era- Williams, Jeter, Rivera, Posada, and going back, players like Ford and Mantle (all the way back to Gehrig).

    The problem is if I’m Cashman, the conversation probably starts with guys like Truinfel, Ramirez or Aumont, because my attitude is if you’re asking for 3-4 years of finished product of a 2.75 win player under team control at a reasonable price, I am going to WANT 6 years of a comparable player who is NOT a finished product (and thus represents some risk) but isn’t close yet. I’m happy to trade wins I can’t use effectively now for wins I might need in the future, but I’m not interested in, say, a pile of Yuni/Wlad/Washburn that’s pretty much superfluous to Yankee needs right now and offers little upside come 2011 or so compared to just holding on to Swisher. The talent offered in trade has to offer me a chance to recoup a good player as part of the deal, and keep in mind the Yankees can BUY anyone on the FA market they want.

  35. bermanator on January 6th, 2009 2:24 pm

    The problem is if I’m Cashman, the conversation probably starts with guys like Truinfel, Ramirez or Aumont, because my attitude is if you’re asking for 3-4 years of finished product of a 2.75 win player under team control at a reasonable price, I am going to WANT 6 years of a comparable player who is NOT a finished product (and thus represents some risk) but isn’t close yet. I’m happy to trade wins I can’t use effectively now for wins I might need in the future, but I’m not interested in, say, a pile of Yuni/Wlad/Washburn that’s pretty much superfluous to Yankee needs right now and offers little upside come 2011 or so compared to just holding on to Swisher.

    Yeah, I agree, which is why I don’t see a fit. Anything else is just trading Seattle’s spare parts for a really useful player at a reasonable cost, and there’s no compelling reason for the Yankees to make that kind of deal.

    It’s great to say that Seattle should deal for Swisher, and I would be thrilled if it happened. But wishing doesn’t make it so, and I don’t think any of the guys we’d like to offer New York would make it so either.

    Dave, I’m curious … what package of players would you like to give up that you reasonably think the Yankees would take?

  36. galaxieboi on January 6th, 2009 2:25 pm

    would they like Jeff Nelson back?

    I’ll trade them Nelson and Tino. As long as we don’t get Sterling Hitchcock and Russ Davis this time.

  37. droppedrod on January 6th, 2009 2:27 pm

    For what it’s worth, ESPN’s MLB Rumors section is reporting that the M’s are interested in Gabe Kapler. Although a righty, this probably makes more sense to the team’s long-term goals then trading away talent to get Swisher, no matter what his price tag. Kapler’s most recent stint after returning from Japan was in Milwaukee so Z knows him and (I think) Kapler has family ties to Seattle. Plus, he will be cheap and plays acceptable defense.

    On a somewhat related note, the optimism shown on these boards that the M’s will have a chance to compete this year never ceases to amaze me–and remind me of the depths of despair that we, as Seattle sports fans, have sunk. Based on the moves so far, Z seems committed to retooling the club for long-term success and not immediate playoff satisfaction. Swisher seems totally out of line with that approach. But, who knows . . .

  38. Conor on January 6th, 2009 2:29 pm

    The problem is if I’m Cashman, the conversation probably starts with guys like Truinfel, Ramirez or Aumont, because my attitude is if you’re asking for 3-4 years of finished product of a 2.75 win player under team control at a reasonable price, I am going to WANT 6 years of a comparable player who is NOT a finished product (and thus represents some risk) but isn’t close yet…

    I guess the counter to that would be to say, “Why would we give you more than you gave up?” …which wasn’t much, if you recall: a useful bench player (Betemit), a low-upside minor-league starter (Marquez) and a minor-league reliever with a good fastball (Jhonny Nunez). But Nunez is essentially a wash because the Yankees also got a relief prospect, Kanekoa Texeira, in addition to Swisher.

  39. bermanator on January 6th, 2009 2:34 pm

    I guess the counter to that would be to say, “Why would we give you more than you gave up?” …which wasn’t much.

    My answer: Just because the White Sox made a crappy deal doesn’t mean the Yankees have to.

  40. eponymous coward on January 6th, 2009 2:38 pm

    Based on the moves so far, Z seems committed to retooling the club for long-term success and not immediate playoff satisfaction.

    I would call it more “I can make some smart moves to improve the club without mortgaging the future or making stupid deals”.

  41. eponymous coward on January 6th, 2009 2:42 pm

    My answer: Just because the White Sox made a crappy deal doesn’t mean the Yankees have to.

    Bingo. Brian Cashman’s a better GM than Ken Williams and probably has a better grasp of Swisher’s true value, and not thus is not likely to trade him for a delicious can of Sprite.

    I could see them holding on to Swisher well into spring training and going for a bidding war. It’s not like they can’t afford a 7 million player on their bench.

  42. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on January 6th, 2009 3:00 pm

    CMC: Thanks for the numbers on Swisher at first. Exactly what I was looking for. In that case, I’d still be for a potential Swisher deal, but would prefer we look at greater areas of need. With how good Chavez/Gutz/Ichiro are defensively, I’d say our OF is fine even if we don’t get another corner OFer.
    Aaron M.

  43. mark s on January 6th, 2009 3:04 pm

    With Swisher, our transformation into the A’s from Moneyball would be nearly complete!

    Very cool idea. Any chance the Yankees are still interested in Washburn?

  44. Mat on January 6th, 2009 3:06 pm

    If I was going to quote two sentences from the Rosenthal piece, I would choose these two sentences:

    Both Swisher and Xavier Nady are drawing significant interest, according to major-league sources. The Yankees are not in a rush to trade either; their only desire is to make the best possible deal.

    If there is interest in both players, I can’t imagine the Yankees trading the better player of the two, who also happens to be under team control for a longer period of time. Unless the Yankees are severely overvaluing some of the Mariners’ assets, this doesn’t look like a situation where you could get Swisher at a bargain basement price. The time for that was when he was still property of the White Sox.

  45. Typical Idiot Fan on January 6th, 2009 3:09 pm

    I have always been a fan of Swisher…he’s probably the only Athletic I can say that about…

    Not I. I always hated the A’s because they always seemed to beat us senseless, but I always liked and had a lot of respect for The Eck, Big Mac, Dave Stewart, Bob Welch, Tim Hudson, Miguel Tejada, Jason Giambi, just to name a few. The A’s have had some really really good talent over the years and it’s hard not to like the individual players and what they do even if you hate the team.

    Joe Blanton can **** off, though.

  46. Andren on January 6th, 2009 3:37 pm

    [off-topic]

  47. Typical Idiot Fan on January 6th, 2009 3:44 pm

    From the above link:

    The one thing that jumps out about him are the 49 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings. Not too shabby and possibly one of those undervalued pieces that can be picked up cheap. His ERA is nothing special, particularly coming from the NL. But ERA is not the best stat to use when looking at a reliever. Looking at his strikeout totals, he can get people out on his own. Had Tommy John surgery in 2006.

    He’s trying.

  48. wabbles on January 6th, 2009 3:53 pm

    I’d always liked Swisher, possibly/probably because of those Jeteresque dives into the stands. It’s good to see there’s other reasons he should be liked. The pitcher we just picked up…we’ll see. Trust the Z!

  49. diderot on January 6th, 2009 4:27 pm

    Brian Cashman’s a better GM than Ken Williams

    Well, Cashman’s got twice as much money to spend, and it seems to me Williams’ World Series ring is more recent, so I’m not sure I would jump to that conclusion.

  50. cheeseheadtransplantmax on January 6th, 2009 5:49 pm

    Nice trade value post reference, eponymous coward.
    Also, I would love to see Swisher in LF for us, I’m just not sure what we would give up to get him. Wlad, and whom else? Yuni? I just don’t know who the Yanks would want in return.
    If the Yankees want Washburn, hey, we should grant their wish!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.