Swisher Taking Over

After the Yankees acquired Nick Swisher from the White Sox this winter, it was assumed he’d play first base for the Bombers. Then, they opened their wallets to sign Mark Teixeira, and Swisher became a man without a job. The Yankees fielded phone calls for both he and Xavier Nady, but decided that the offers didn’t make sense, and that they’d rather just go into the season with some extra depth.

That looks to have been the right decision. Swisher has been on fire to start the season, leading the majors with a ridiculous .682 wOBA. 9 of his 11 hits have gone for extra bases, as he’s quickly registering 2008 as an aberration rather than some kind of downward trend. With the way he’s swinging the bat, there’s no way the Yankees can keep him out of the line-up.

Now, they don’t have to. Nady left last night’s game with a “sharp pain” in his elbow, which is hardly ever good news. Even if he only requires a short stint on the DL, it’s unlikely that he’ll have a job waiting for him when he gets back. Swisher is the better player anyway, and his remarkable first week performance has endeared him to Yankee fans. Coming out of the bullpen to pitch mop-up duty didn’t hurt his reputation, either.

The old cliche is that the best trades are the ones you don’t make. In Brian Cashman’s case, that’s probably true for this winter – by keeping Swisher around as a nifty insurance policy, he’s allowed the team to not miss a beat despite early injuries to both Teixeira and Nady. There’s no rule against entering the season with 10 guys who deserve a starting job, and the Yankees are certainly benefiting from keeping Swisher around, even without a defined role for him when the year began.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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mkd
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mkd
7 years 2 months ago

Good for Swish. I was really hoping the Ms would be able to snag him, but I’m glad he’s at least gonna get a chance to prove how ridiculously unlucky he was last year. Also, hesonmyfantasyteamandIgothiminlikethe23rdroundsothisisgreatnewsforme!

Kevin S.
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Kevin S.
7 years 2 months ago

“hesonmyfantasyteamandIgothiminlikethe23rdroundsothisisgreatnewsforme!”

Ditto!

archilochusColubris
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archilochusColubris
7 years 2 months ago

Yeah the only problem for the Yankees is that they entered the season with 8 guys who deserve a starting job but can only play 7 of the 9 positions.

Keith
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Keith
7 years 2 months ago

uhm?

Kevin S.
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Kevin S.
7 years 2 months ago

Gardner and Ransom don’t deserve starting jobs. Luckily, A-Rod should be ready come early May, and if A-Jax keeps tearing up AAA, the Yanks might get a twofer boost.

CMC_Stags
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CMC_Stags
7 years 2 months ago

I think he’s saying they don’t anyone who should be starting at SS.

Rich
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Rich
7 years 2 months ago

Nady needs surgery, per Ham.

Rob in CT
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Rob in CT
7 years 2 months ago

I’ve been really happy with Swisher’s performance so far. I was pro-Swisher from the start, but it doesn’t hurt to see him tearing it up.

That said, the injury to Nady hurts. Nady < Swisher, but he’s still useful. This likely means more of Melky Cabrera or the rushing of Austin Jackson. Neither of which is good.

Andrew Zwillinger
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Andrew Zwillinger
7 years 2 months ago

Several outlets are reporting that he needs Tommy John surgery and is out for the season. Swisher’s not gonna be lacking for PT. What happens when Matsui/Damon are injured? Who will they trade for then?

PhDBrian
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PhDBrian
7 years 2 months ago

Nats may have an extra OF or three around. Austin Kearns anyone? He is a very good defensive RF with power against left handed pitchers. How about the WillingHammer Willingham. He has hit 30 homers recently and on bases over .360? Got to be as good as Nady.

Millage? He is as toolsy as they get? He is just down in AAA for a second. anyone? anyone?

RollingWave
Guest
7 years 2 months ago

Kearns is intriguing, Milledge probably not, they need someone short term, longer term Milledge isn’t particularly better than Jackson.

Omar
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Omar
7 years 2 months ago

What about the trade Cashman did make for Swisher? I’d say that’s the best trade.

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