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. It looks like the deal is going to be Wilson Betemit, Jhonny Nunez and Jeff Marquez for Nick Swisher and Kanakoea Texeira.
The best thing about this trade, as far as I'm concerned is that the Yanks didn't give up anything important. Marquez has a chance to be a back-of-the-rotation guy, Nunez is the guy the Yanks traded Alberto Gonzalez for at the deadline last year and Betemit is garbage. I hate every other aspect of the deal, especially the part where the Yanks pencil Swisher in as their starting first baseman.
Swisher walks. He walks a lot. That's pretty much the only good thing the guy does. He had 82 walks last year to get his OBP up to .332. Lovely. He can "play" 4 positions on the field, all the outfield positions and first base. He doesn't play any of them well. According to this, first base is the worst of his positions
. Adding Swisher to the lineup in Giambi's slot basically amounts to equal walks and a precipitous drop off in every other statistical category, which is great for a team that struggled to score runs last season.
More good news, Swisher is under contract through 2011 ($20.3M total), with an option for 2012 ($10.25M). The salary is quite affordable if you're talking about an every day player. When you're talking about a .219 hitter who can't defend or a first baseman with a .742 OPS, well it may be a little over the top. It will be fun to see the bottom of the Yankee lineup with Swisher and Gardner, though. Two guys with great plate discipline who pitchers have no fear of facing.
If you can't tell, I hate this move. People will tell you the Yanks aren't done, but I disagree. I think this trade takes a run at Teixeira off the table. They now have their every day first baseman for 2009 (unless Posada can't catch, but if that happens there are larger issues to worry about). We're going to be forced to see Swisher, his miserable bat and his below-average glove on a daily basis.
If the choice was between a two-year deal for Giambi or a trade for Swisher, I'd take Giambi. No questions asked. Don't pat Brian Cashman on the back for buying low. All he did was get the ChiSox out from under a bad contract for a bad player. Congrats, Cashman, he's our problem now. Not the start to the offseason I was looking for.
Here's your Yankee lineup, at the moment:
- Damon (LF)
- Jeter (SS)
- A-Rod (3B)
- Posada (C)
- Nady (RF)
- Matsui (DH)
- Cano (2B)
- Swisher (1B)
- Gardner (CF)