Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Yankees land Swisher and Texiera

No, not Mark Teixeira silly, check the spelling! On Thursday, the Yankees acquired Nick Swisher and minor league pitching prospect Kaneoka Texiera while the White Sox get prospect Jeffrey Marquez and utilityman Wilson Betemit. Marquez was highly touted but he was still way down on the Yankee pitching depth charts. Betemit can play any infield position and could possibly be a starter in Chicago with 20+HR power. To be honest, losing Betemit is tough for the Yankees because he's a solid player off the bench. However, if getting Swisher only costs a Wilson Betemit and a decent pitching prospect, then this deal was a no-brainer.

Anyway, this is great! I can't wait to get my Nick Swisher Yankee t-shirt! What I love about this deal is that the Yankees traded for someone young who still has some upside and us Yankee fans know we desperately need to fuse some youth into the lineup. Swisher, 28, has a ton of power and excellent on-base skills but he's a killer with the batting average. The Yankees are getting a younger version of Jason Giambi although Swisher isn't as good a hitter.... yet. Word on the street is that Swisher is a fabulous presence in the clubhouse so I can definitely see the upside in this deal.

As for Mark Teixeira, most analysts are saying that this Swisher deal is all but dead and that the Yankees won't go after Tex, but I think this opens up the possibility of adding Tex! Swisher is a decent outfielder as well as a first baseman and with Bobby Abreu realistically out of a Yankee uniform, you can reasonably slot Swisher in center field. He won't be the defensive centerfielder the Yankees covet but now you could have Johnny Damon, Swisher, Xavier Nady in the outfield with Hideki Matsui as your DH. I can live with that.

Since the Yankees acquired Swisher via trade and with the potential of adding a $150 million C.C. Sabathia, we all know the Yankees could afford a Mark Teixeira. By dumping the contracts of Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, and Mike Mussina and giving Andy Pettitte a pay cut, I find it hard to believe that the Yankees will pass up on Tex unless I hear otherwise from the Yankees themselves. Plus, they're opening up approximately $50+ million a year in payroll. That's plenty of dough for C.C., Tex, and that other starting pitcher they want in either Derek Lowe or A.J. Burnett.
This of course, assuming you move Swisher into the outfield.

The Fantasy Man Says: This move to the Yankees pushes Nick Swisher up a few rounds in your 12-team mixed league draft from after the 17th round to maybe the 14th or 15th rounds if you really believe in the upside. I'd say Swisher is now a $5-$7 player in most auction leagues and his versatility could be useful in AL-Only leagues. Wilson Betemit's value rises a bit because of his versatility and makes for a potential sleeper in AL-Only leagues as he could provide 15+HR power if he gets 450+AB. Jeffrey Marquez and Kaneoka Texeira are not draftable except possibly in the deepest of Dynasty leagues.

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