Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Friday, November 16, 2012
If he’ll take three years at $36 million, I’d say yes. Anything more…pass.
The Yankees aren’t re-signing Swisher because they’re on an austerity kick so as to get their payroll down to $189 million by 2014 and also because he’s difficult to evaluate. Rumors during the season suggested he’d be in pursuit of a Jayson Werth contract (seven years, $126 million). Now, Swisher is good, and he doesn’t have Werth’s injury problems or inconsistency (nor his defensive abilities), but that doesn’t mean he’s worth duplicating Mike Rizzo’s notorious overpay. Swisher will turn 32 later this month. Unlike Werth, he’s slow now, and his defense, though presently acceptable, won’t stay that way forever. His selectivity and power should continue to serve him well as he ages, but as a hitter with “old players’ skills,” his batting average likely won’t survive the transition into baseball’s version of old age. If you sign him to a long-term contract, what do you do when, a year or two in, you have a 33-year-old, .230-hitting DH who is being paid $8 or $10 million a year? Whether Swisher is ultimately a good buy or not depends on his flexibility in terms of years.
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