On paper, the Yankees trade for Nick Swisher looks fantastic. Not only can Swisher get on base, switch hit, and hit for power, but he is only 28 years old, entering the prime of his career. Swisher will either be the replacement at first base for Jason Giambi or the new starting center fielder for the Yankees. He offers the Yankees lots of flexibility, at a great price. Swisher signed a team friendly extensions with the Athletics in 2007 and luckily for the Yankees, Swisher is signed until 2011 for a total of only $21 million bucks. Swisher's contract is much better than anything the Yankees would have been able to find on the free agent market and will undoubtedly allow the Yankees to devote even more time and resources to CC Sabathia.
Sure Swisher is coming off a terrible season in which he only hit .219, but this guy has way too much talent and way too good of a contract to be dealt away this quickly. For God's sake, the Yankees only gave up Wilson Betemit and two minor leaguers This was a classic buy low trade by Brian Cashman and I would not be surprised if Swisher comes through big for the Yankees in 2009.
The Yankees have to be concerned about Swisher's horrific 2008 campaign, but as a fan, I am concerned that Swisher will no longer be able to sport his trademark beard/sideburns. As we all know, the Yankees require that their players maintain a clean-cut, trim look; so all the beard enthusiasts like myself have to be disappointed. We'll see how fun loving and charismatic Swisher will adapt to the strict and rigid rules of the Yankee clubhouse. We'll see if he is able to establish himself as a leader for the younger Yanks or if his enthusiasm and energy will be silenced the Yankee brand.
For right now, this trade brings the Yankees everything they are looking for: a young, energetic player who is in the prime of his career. We'll see if Swisher is able to produce in pinstripes, but you have to give credit to Cashman for pulling the trigger on this one.