I was just playing around with the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, asking it to show the following:
List OF from 1947-2009, ranked by BPA, with seasons where AGE BETWEEN 27 AND 29, RCAA BETWEEN 20 AND 25, PLATE APPEARANCES >= 600, and AVERAGE < 0 vs. the league average – while displaying OWP and OPS vs. the league average.
And, this is the result of that query:
BPA YEAR BPA RCAA PA AVG OWP OPS 1 Andruw Jones 2005 .594 22 672 -.006 .597 .155 2 Mike Cameron 2001 .560 23 633 -.001 .615 .069 3 Nick Swisher 2009 .555 22 607 -.018 .617 .104 4 Bobby Bonds 1974 .554 21 670 -.007 .599 .084 5 Dwayne Murphy 1984 .505 21 647 -.008 .614 .090
It’s not a very deep list.
1984 was the last really good season, with the bat, that Dwayne Murphy posted in his career. Bobby Bonds was traded by the Giants, to the Yankees, following that 1974 season – and some have suggested that a drinking problem had some play on that call. Mike Cameron matched his 2001 production, shown here, only one more time in the eight seasons that followed (to date). Andruw Jones repeated his 2005 offensive production in 2006 – and then his bat went completely down the flusher.
You know, in many ways, Nick Swisher was like David Justice in 2000 and Kevin Millar in 2004 – meaning someone who turned out to be a nice offensive surprise on a championship team. But, the following season, both Justice and Millar tanked – and were never really good again.
Could the same thing happen to Swisher in 2010? Should the Yankees, mindful of his partying ways, move him, now, like the Giants did with Bonds after 1974? Also, consider that Murphy, Cameron, and Jones, after their bats went “Poof!” still provided above average defense in center field – and that had some value. Nick Swisher is not a defensive wiz in the outfield.
Granted, the Yankees outfield, at this moment, is not deep with sticks. But, maybe, if Johnny Damon is willing to take a two-year deal for $20 million, as some suggest, perhaps it makes sense to consider signing Damon and then trading Swisher to a team where they can get a serviceable 5th starter/bullpen swing-man in return?