This seems to be the latest trendy topic in the comments so … let’s discuss.
I know Nick Swisher’s .249 batting average was ugly, but he was otherwise just as advertised in his first season with the Yankees. He saw a ton of pitches, he hit 29 home runs and he reached base at a .371 clip. To me, that’s a productive corner outfielder.
Yes, he strikes out too much to hit for a high average, but in his absolute worst season (2008 with the White Sox, the reason he came to the Yankees so cheap) he finished with 24 home runs and 69 RBI. For a worst-case scenario, that’s not half bad. And he can handle right field. He’s not great out there, but he’s certainly good enough.
I won’t completely dismiss the idea of trading him, but what could the Yankees get for him that’s more valuable to the team? As it stands, he’s the Yankees’ second-best outfielder (in terms of production). Is the idea of trading him contingent upon the idea of signing Matt Holliday?
Certainly, Swisher doesn’t belong in that group of trade-under-no-circumstances Yankees, but I’m not sure I understand the desire to ship him off right now. He was very productive in 2009, and that production was perfectly in keeping with his 2007 and 2006 seasons. If Swisher put up the exact same numbers in 2010, wouldn’t that be good production from a right fielder hitting in the bottom of the order?