Nick Swisher has never even been eligible for arbitration. He’d played just two full seasons when the Athletics signed him to a five-year deal with an option for a sixth season. The Yankees just picked up that sixth year option this offseason, meaning Swisher is heading for free agency for the first time.
“I’m sure as the season starts up, I’m sure the talk will get a little more and a little more, but I think I’m ready for that,” Swisher said this morning. “I’m not thinking about that. I don’t care. I’ve got a great job. I make good money. My wife makes good money. Money’s not a big thing for us. I do what I love, and that’s coming here to the ballpark and playing ball every day. Whatever’s going to happen is going to happen. I wish I could write in a book and script it out. I’d be here for the rest of my career.”
Swisher said he has no intention of asking the Yankees for an extension. He knows the team wouldn’t go for that anyway, so he’s heading into this season fully expecting to hit he market in the fall. He’d like to come back to New York — few players seem to love playing in New York more than Swisher — but that’s a problem for another day. For now, he has a contract and he has a team.
“I’ll cross that bridge when the time is coming,” Swisher said. “The Yankees aren’t traditionally an organization that does do multi-years in the middle of a contract. They are a team that, you’re going to have to test the free agent market. You’re going to have to because that’s how the Yankees work. We’re just going to cross that bridge when we come to it. I love this place. Everybody knows that. This is the place I want to be. At the end of the season, after we’re standing out there November 1 after winning the World Series, we’ll all party, and then we’ll all get down to brass tacks.”
The more important question: Has Swisher considered the possibility of replacing A.J. Burnett’s pie delivery role? Joe Girardi has already mentioned Swisher as a leading candidate for the job.
“I heard about that!” Swisher said. “You know, A.J. was a good buddy of mine and he was a good buddy of all the guys in here. Sad to see him go, wish him the best of luck. But hey man , we’re going to have to keep something going, because people in New York want pie!”
One problem. What if Swisher gets the walkoff hit?
“Can you pie yourself?” Swisher asked.
Associated Press photo