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Thursday, December 20, 2012

ESPN NY: Marchand: Matchup: Ichiro vs. Swisher

As YankeeBianchi used to tell me in the bar…“Us Yankee fans are the smartest in all of baseball…Francesa said so!”

“Who would you rather have as your starting right fielder?

  78% ~  Ichiro Suzuki
   
  22% ~ Nick Swisher

(Total votes: 2,059)”

To me, this is not much of a choice. Ichiro Suzuki may have the better resume, the future Hall of Fame credentials, but Nick Swisher is clearly the superior player right now. That is why Swisher will make much more money than Ichiro when Swisher finally signs.

However, a surprising number of people (more than one) have tweeted at me that they’d rather have Ichiro for ‘13 instead of Swisher. Be careful what you (s)wish for.

For all of Swisher’s shenanigans, his silly playoff complaints and his lack of October hits, he was a pretty good Yankee. Swisher’s OPS was .822 or higher in each of his four years. His on-base was never lower than .359 and as high as .374. That is some nice production that leads to regular season wins.

Repoz Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:05 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4329149)
Ichiro is dramatically overrated.

2011 VORP: 6.2.

2012 VORP (NY): 4.0

2012 VORP (SEA): -1.6

He is hardly above replacement level!
   2. Blastin Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:32 AM (#4329156)
This JR Wolf character really dislikes PEDs and Ichiro.

Now, what else do you have to say?
   3. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4329164)
with the short porch in RF at NYS being what it is, ichiro could probably hit 74 HRs if he really wanted to.
   4. Dale Sams Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:18 AM (#4329173)
Now ask Red Sox fans if they'd rather have Swisher or Napoli...and tell me who is really more valuable? Swisher can play RF and 1B, Napoli can play 1B, C and may be injured.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:52 AM (#4329183)
VORP? Was there a tear in the space-time continuum and I'm back in 2001?
   6. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 20, 2012 at 04:07 AM (#4329184)
This JR Wolf character really dislikes PEDs and Ichiro.

Now, what else do you have to say?


That he loves VORP so much he plans to marry it?

Boy is that going to be one bummer of a honeymoon when he finds out the truth.
   7. Shoebo Posted: December 20, 2012 at 04:27 AM (#4329186)
It's a trap
   8. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 20, 2012 at 04:36 AM (#4329188)
_TheRealTruth_
How is this even a question? Ichiro had more big hits in the playoffs last year than Swish had his whole career as a Yankee. And Swisher is a complete joke on defense. Below average arm with below average range and below average judgement. Ichiro is well above average in all those categories. He is also much faster than Swish and a better timely hitter. Swisher is the classic homer or bust hitter in clutch situations and there are already too many of those hitters on this team. Just ask yourself this. Who would you rather have up in the 9th inning, down 2 runs and needing a baserunner? Easy, Ichiro.less
1 Hour Ago


He makes excellent points, and upholds the honor and reputation of NYY fans everywhere.
   9. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:02 AM (#4329194)
Have the Yanks been connected to any more potential platoon partners for Ichiro (or, like their entire left handed OF) and I've just missed it? I know there was noise about Vernon Wells the other day, but that didn't seem realistic (I hope). All Riveraveblues is telling me is that the Yanks are considering re-upping on Raul Ibanez, which is pretty much the opposite of addressing the lefty heavy lineup situation.
   10. SG Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:30 AM (#4329196)
Have the Yanks been connected to any more potential platoon partners for Ichiro (or, like their entire left handed OF) and I've just missed it?


Scott Hairston is one option they are trying for but he wants two years and more playing time than they can offer. Cody Ross has also been mentioned but he's also going to want more years and money than the new thrifty Yankees can possibly afford. Hopefully they aren't considering Delmon Young.

Maybe they can just try Ronnier Mustelier? He hit pretty well in the minors and he's already 28 so he's not likely to get much better, but hell, he's there, he's cheap, and he has options.
   11. AROM Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4329240)
"Maybe they can just try Ronnier Mustelier? He hit pretty well in the minors and he's already 28 so he's not likely to get much better, but hell, he's there, he's cheap, and he has options."

I'd play him for the name alone. Makes me think of Rainier Wolfcastle.
   12. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4329242)
David Eckstein vs. A-Rod, 2012-13 edition
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4329259)
I think this is just a classic case of sour grapes by the fans.

If the rumors were that the Yankees and Swisher were negotiating, they'd love him again.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4329266)
What about Victorino vs Ichiro?
   15. Greg K Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4329280)
Did Swisher do something recently to piss people off? I seem to recall him being a bit of a fan favourite in New York (or at least an affable guy that people seemed to like). He's been pretty much the exact same hitter throughout his stay with the Yankees (OPS+ ranges from 120-129).

But all through this past season there seemed to be absolutely no question about bringing him back, and from what I can understand Yankee fans seemed happy to see him go.
   16. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4329283)
But all through this past season there seemed to be absolutely no question about bringing him back, and from what I can understand Yankee fans seemed happy to see him go.
I think it was widely assumed that Swisher wasn't coming back for financial reasons, so people started getting ready for him to leave. Also, Swisher has been dreadful in the playoffs recently: .184/.241/.286 the last two years, which tends to (fairly or not) turn people aganist you.
   17. The Good Face Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4329296)
I think it was widely assumed that Swisher wasn't coming back for financial reasons, so people started getting ready for him to leave. Also, Swisher has been dreadful in the playoffs recently: .184/.241/.286 the last two years, which tends to (fairly or not) turn people aganist you.


Yeah, the postseason futility has really turned a lot of Yankee fans I know off him. These are the people who constantly griped about A-Rod back when he was still A-Rod because he hadn't singlehandedly carried them to a WS title. A guy like Swisher can't even hide behind stupendous regular season production to justify his existence to those kind of fans.
   18. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4329297)
Also, Swisher has been dreadful in the playoffs recently: .184/.241/.286 the last two years, which tends to (fairly or not) turn people aganist you.


Heck, he's hit .169 in the postseason as a Yankee over five years. Plus, 1 for 33 or somehting crazy with runners in scoring position.
   19. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4329308)
Did Swisher do something recently to piss people off? I seem to recall him being a bit of a fan favourite in New York (or at least an affable guy that people seemed to like).


Swisher is an incredibly streaky player. When he's good he's good but when he's bad he's helpless and he doesn't seem to go for the O'Neill/Youkilis bat slamming overt displays of frustration so it's interpreted as a lack of fire.

Also, he reminds me a lot of Manny Ramirez in the way he just looks like he's not trying and sometimes does things that are not meaningful but look bad. The play in the LCS when he didn't catch the go-ahead double then fell to the ground like a theatrical 8 year old is one such play that sticks out. A more graceful player would have stopped and turned and run after the ball...and the outcome would have been the same. But as a fan that more graceful player is just more aesthetically pleasing.

And the post-season struggles don't help.
   20. micker17 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4329319)
Stats count for 75%, scouting for 25%.

Sometimes, you just have to watch the games to understand.

As a Yankee fan, I'm shocked that 22% would even take Swisher back. His postseason sample is more than large enough, thank you.

For the other 29 teams, Swisher is the better player.

For the Yankees, Ichiro is the obvious choice.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4329332)
Stats count for 75%, scouting for 25%.

Sometimes, you just have to watch the games to understand.

As a Yankee fan, I'm shocked that 22% would even take Swisher back. His postseason sample is more than large enough, thank you.

For the other 29 teams, Swisher is the better player.

For the Yankees, Ichiro is the obvious choice.


Anyone who wouldn't take a guy back who puts up 3-4 WAR every year is just being silly.

Swisher is by far the better player currently, and his salary will reflect it. The idea that he can't hit in NY is nonsense.
   22. micker17 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4329346)
Snapper, you're ignoring the most important variable, $. Ichiro signed for 2/$13m. Swisher will get something like 5/$75.

Baggage and all, if Swisher would sign for 2/$13 the Yankees would take him over Ichiro. There's NO WAY they would pay Swisher anything close to market value.

I agree with you, Swisher is the better player. He's just not a fit for the Yankees.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4329366)
Snapper, you're ignoring the most important variable, $. Ichiro signed for 2/$13m. Swisher will get something like 5/$75.

Baggage and all, if Swisher would sign for 2/$13 the Yankees would take him over Ichiro. There's NO WAY they would pay Swisher anything close to market value.

I agree with you, Swisher is the better player. He's just not a fit for the Yankees.


Granted, but you said better player, not better value. Ichiro is also a better option for the Yankees than Mike Trout, since they don't have the resources to get Trout either.
   24. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4329384)
Boy, this is looking more and more like it's going to be a very frustrating season in the Bronx. They're going to need near peak production from Cano and Granderson as well as a reversal of the Texiera decline to be above average on offense (I am expecting replacement level results at all the other positions. But Jeter will probably put up another 3 WAR year just to continue to prove me wrong.) They haven't upgraded their pitching and their 2 big free agent aquisitions are Youk and Ichiro. Boston and Toronto have both made major moves. Tampa is young and good. Baltimore was probably a fluke last year, but they are an improved team from their recent cellar dwelling days. This austerity plan is taking it's toll. I know that they could make some late moves, but right now I dont see them winning any more than 83-88 games.
   25. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 20, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4329520)
He is clearly the better player, but letting Swisher go is apparently part of the price for getting under the Luxury Tax threshold. Ichiro could surprise, but pitching looks like the key to 2013. Might be enough, but a four-team race with Toronto, Tampa & Baltimore wouldn't surprise me, either. Could be an interesting season for the AL East.
   26. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 20, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4329522)
Swisher has been dreadful in the playoffs recently: .184/.241/.286

That made him one of their best hitters this year!
   27. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 21, 2012 at 02:15 AM (#4329887)
You all seem to hate WARP and you all seem to hate VORP. Okay.


Pick your value stat, Ichiro is dramatically overrated.

2011 bWAR (SEA) : 0.3

2012 bWAR (SEA): 1.5

2012 bWAR (NY): 0.1

He had oWAR's of 0.7, 0.2, and 0.9. He's overrated and overpaid.


   28. RollingWave Posted: December 21, 2012 at 04:25 AM (#4329896)
And of course, with Murphy's law, Ichiro's so going to put up a 200 hit 30 bomb season next year.

Pineda better give them something good this year, or that Montero trade is looking increasingly awful even if he's just not the greatest hitter ever. considering that they'll probably have god awful catcher hitting this year and unlikely to make Montero's glove look that bad either.

With a full seaon of Rivera and Pettite and/or something decent from Pineda they probably improve a bit. And this being the Yankees I'm pretty sure Brian Cashmen will pull something out of a rabbit's hat to make the Offense look decent. and like I said, If we get Murphy Law Ichiro then offense isn't going to be much of a issue.

(Montero's split last year was most interesing.. he was a pretty decent hitter outside of Safeco and a great hitter while starting as catching, this is looking like a huge lose lose trade)

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