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Swisher or Nady?

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The acquisition of Mark Teixeira further clogged the Yankee roster with outfield/DH types. Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Nick Swisher, Xavier Nady, Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera will all do battle in Spring Training in hopes of landing significant time in the outfield or at DH. While this may not be an untenable situation (Matsui and Damon aren't getting any younger), the Yanks do have a surplus right now.

With that surplus in mind, rumors are swirling about the Yanks trying to make a deal.




Damon isn't going anywhere. He's the lead-off hitter and extremely important to the success of the team. Matsui would be nearly impossible to move due to his health concerns and full no-trade clause. Either Gardner or Melky will have to man center field, so while the other may be expendable, their affordable salaries make them less likely to move.

This leaves us with Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady. It looks like one of those guys will be moved at some point, and Ken Davidoff says the Yanks want the odd man out to be Xavier Nady (ht MLBTR).

Nady's numbers dropped precipitously after he was traded from Pittsburgh to the Yankees in 2008 (.330/.383.,535 to .268/.320/.474). Nady's dismal September (.223/.270/.339) is fresh in our minds, but his OPS+ of 105 for the Yanks was serviceable.

Swisher, on the other hand, is coming off just a horrendous year. He hit a dismal .219/.332/.410 for the ChiSox.  If Swisher bounces back, he could probably meet or exceed Nady's OPS+ numbers for the coming year.

Offensively, I think it comes down to your faith in Swisher's ability to return to form. If each guy performs to the level they did last season, Nady's the clear choice. Even the lesser Nady we saw in NY was a better option than Swisher at the plate. Swisher's main advantage is his patience. He walks a ton, although I worry that he won't be able to keep that pace up if he doesn't raise his average this season. If he doesn't do damage, pitchers have no reason to nibble.

Defensively, the number say Nady was about average (0.6 UZR/150) as a right fielder last season, Swisher was well below (-9.3 UZR/150), but that was a small sample size for Swisher. In 2007 he played 52 games in right for the A's to the tune of a 27.8 UZR/150. In 2005, he played 121 games in right and rated well-above average at 12.8 UZR/150.

On the field, the players are pretty close. If the decision was based on stats alone, I might just take a shot on Swisher. I'd like to get as many plus gloves on the field as possible, and it wouldn't take a miraculous turnaround for Swisher to exceed, or at least meet Nady's offensive production.

A couple of other factors:
  1. The Yanks traded for both of these guys in the past 7 months. They gave up Jose Tabata among others for Nady and Damaso Marte. Wilson Betemit and Jeff Marquez were the focus of the deal for Swisher earlier this offseason. You'd think that if they moved either it would have to be for a package exceeding what they gave up to obtain them just a few short months/weeks ago.
  2. Nady is arb-elligible this year, then a free agent after the season. Swisher is signed through 2011 for $21.05M, with a team option for 2012 at $10.25M (with a $1M buyout). The financially sound move would be to rid yourself of Swisher's contract. If Swisher is the one to leave, though, the Yanks will have Cabrera and Gardner as their only outfielders signed through 2010.
This is a tough question. I don't think a one-year Nady rental, nor a long-term Swisher contract will be highly sought-after in the trade market. It wouldn't be hard to match the package the Yanks sent to Chicago for Swisher (Betemit and Marquez), but I'm not sure they could recoup the cost of the Nady trade. Tabata used to be a premier prospect, and he's only 19.

If it was up to me, I'd probably hold on to both of them unless someone blew me away with an offer. Having two of those outfielders on your bench may not be a bad thing, especially if someone goes down for a decent amount of time with an injury.

14 Comments

The more I think about it, no loss in keeping both. Someone is almost bound to get injured and it'll be nice to have that depth at some point.

However, if we're trading someone you can make an argument for either, here's my reason for both.

-Nady: Swisher is probably better overall.
-Swisher: You'd lose his contract and once Nady leaves you'd have his Type-A status draft picks. More flexibility long-term.

I'd feel better about trading Nady.

Gotta keep Nady, great role player. And Matsui and Damon will be no doubt get banged up, no way they play every day. Keep him.

I tend to agree with you on everything except Damon's health. This is a walk year for him, I'm expecting huge numbers.

keep them both-matsui is not going to get better at his age and is now on two bad knees, we need a better cf-thats the only reason to move anyone.

Nady and Pitching for Nelson Cruz and bench pieces. Cruz might not hit for average like Nady but he's a better fielder and he can steal bases, same amount of power. Better option off the bench if you ask me and you save $6M. You also get Cruz for 4 more seasons so he can be in the mix for 2010 if he hits like he did in AAA.

If Nady maybe Boras decline signing extension w/ NYY, trying to move Nady for DeJesus(KC), I mean the Royals need a slugger OF in the meanwhile we need an everyday CF. Gardner fits on the 4th OF.

The only tough part of this will be playing time because Jorge will be doing DH and 1B (rest day for Tex) AND Tex will make it tough to throw Swisher or Damon at 1B for playing time. Depth is great and I have no problem with keeping everyone but it may get a bit crowded with so many players who are not accustomed to roles rather than starts.

trade swisher

trade swisher

Keep Nady. Class and better than your numbers show in the outfield. He has that Bernie Williams gift of being to hit pitchers just when the rest of the team looks like an automatic out. Got any numbers that measure that?.....didn't think so.

Keep Nady!

I would have to vote to trade Nady. All the numbers are great and all but you can sway those any way you like. Swisher is a character and thats what the Yanks need. The type of guy who is just crazy enough to get the rest of the team jacked up. If you make Swisher your full time RF, I'm sure the batting average will take care of itself with regular playing time at the same position. (he didn't like being moved around so much in chi) This is the same guy that hit 35 jacks with Oakland in 06.

I think keeping swisher is the right way to go he seems like more of a grind it out player, and as we all know that is something the Yankees desperately need. When he was first acquired this off season by the yanks you could tell how fired up he was to be a part of this storied franchise. I think that great things will come from Swisher this season and cash will look like a genius. Both players are very good and i think a good enough offer will come around for Nady(giants perhaps?)

It would seem that instead of the Yankees just fielding offers another route should be taken and that is to agggressively looked into making a trade(s) base on a their long term needs.Hedeki Matsui Johnny Damon and Xavier Nady contracts all comming off pay roll and with the abundance of pitching in the farm and having the ability to trade Swisher in addition to their 1st base prospect Yuan Miranda being made expendable with Teixeira's aquisition...maybe the yanks could put together a package of good young pitching with Swisher and or Nady and possibly Miranda to aquire some young long term outfield talent.Instead of just listening to offers.Could they get Andre Ethier of the Dodgers or possibly Mike Cameron and Cory Hart of the Brewers?If they are willing to part with Phil Hughes many things maybe possible.

It would seem that instead of the Yankees just fielding offers another route should be taken and that is to agggressively looked into making a trade(s) base on a their long term needs.Hedeki Matsui Johnny Damon and Xavier Nady contracts all comming off pay roll and with the abundance of pitching in the farm and having the ability to trade Swisher in addition to their 1st base prospect Yuan Miranda being made expendable with Teixeira's aquisition...maybe the yanks could put together a package of good young pitching with Swisher and or Nady and possibly Miranda to aquire some young long term outfield talent.Instead of just listening to offers.Could they get Andre Ethier of the Dodgers or possibly Mike Cameron and Cory Hart of the Brewers?If they are willing to part with Phil Hughes many things maybe possible.

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