Via George King -
The Yankees denied a published report they have let teams know right fielder Nick Swisher is available.
According to a Yankees official, switch-hitting Swisher, who played a big part in the Yankees winning the AL East but struggled in the postseason, isn’t being shopped by the World Series winners.
USA Today writer Bob Nightengale wrote on his Twitter page today that “The Yankees, ever so quietly, are letting teams know that RF Nick Swisher is available.”
With Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, who combined for 52 homers this past season, free agents and their Yankees future uncertain, it would seem unlikely the team would entertain offers for Swisher before working through the free-agent process.
If Damon doesn’t return, the Yankees will need a left fielder. If Matsui comes back, he isn’t considered an outfielder.
And Swisher’s money isn’t offensive. Turning 29 next week, he will earn $6.75 million this coming season, $9 million in 2011. There is a $10.25 million club option for 2012 or a $1 million buyout.
That’s $16.75 million guaranteed for two more seasons, and if Swisher comes close to the 29 homers, 82 RBIs and .371 on-base percentage he produced this past season, he isn’t too expensive.
Plus, Swisher’s outsized personality is a big hit with Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman.
You know, shopping Swisher may not be a bad idea. There’s a part of me that suspects Nick is going to come into Spring Training next year about 20 pounds heavier than his already not fit weight of 2009. Why? Lots of partying this off-season…more so than usual for Swisher…given his new fame via being on the Yankees and them winning the World Series.
Maybe the Yankees are thinking the same thing here? Perhaps this is like when they moved Boomer Wells after the 1998 season?