This was posted on an LA NBC site last Friday -
Can you picture Nick Swisher or Hideki Matsui in an Angels uniform?
Apparently the Angels are at least giving it some thought. Reports are that the Yankees are looking to make a trade as they have a glut of corner outfielders. On the trading block are Xavier Nady, Swisher Matsui. At least one, maybe two of those players will get moved.
As of December, the Angels likely would start Juan Rivera or Gary Mathews Jr. in left, Torri Hunter in center and Vlad Guerrero in right. Behind them as insurance would be Chone Figgins and the loser in the battle to start in left field. That’s a solid lineup, maybe better depending on how Guerrero bounces back.
Not that there isn’t some reason to at least talk with the Yankees. Swisher (just acquired this off-season by New York from the White Sox) is a left-handed bat and the Angels could use one of those, and Matsui is a switch hitter.
Matsui doesn’t make a lot of sense in one regard, he is due $13 million next year and likely would DH when not playing in the outfield. Angel fans could rightly question that big an expenditure on a Matsui quality player (.294 last season with nine home runs). Swisher, is a far more reasonable $5.3 million (and is just 28 years old) but he hit just .219 last year, with 24 home runs.
We know the Angels are not going after the biggest bats on the market now, Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn. But adding Swisher to the mix for some mid-level picks is at least worth a conversation or two.
…Swisher (just acquired this off-season by New York from the White Sox) is a left-handed bat and the Angels could use one of those, and Matsui is a switch hitter…
In any event, backwards reporting aside, there seems to be some buzz out there that the Yankees are looking to trade Matsui, Nady or Swisher.
It makes sense, in a way. I have a feeling that Girardi really wants to play Brett Gardner in center this year. And, I’m down with that. But, if that happens, this means that Johnny Damon plays left. With such a move, that leaves Swisher, Matsui and Nady fighting it out for DH and RF. That’s one too many players.
Of the three, I’m hoping that Swisher goes. He’s a terrible outfielder and has some holes in his swing.
Granted, Matsui is a defensive liability at this point – and a question mark in terms of his health. But, if he’s sound, the upside is huge for him. He can handle being a DH, can handle the glare of New York, and is a solid citizen in the clubhouse.
Nady, as I’ve written, is probably closer to an .800 OPS batter than being a superstar. And, he’s just OK in the outfield. But, he seems like the kind of player who could be a good fit on the Yankees…batting in the lower third of the line-up, around 7th, and picking up some clutch hits.
I could see why some teams would want Nady over Swisher – especially when it comes to contract status.
It will be interesting to see how the Yankees handle this situation – if it’s true that they are shopping an outfielder.