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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

March 24, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Swisher aced out. Hmmm….

The word out of Yankees’ camp is that manager Joe Girardi has decided to go with Xavier Nady over Nick Swisher as the starting right fielder. That would leave Swisher, at best, as a super sub, getting time in right, center, first and DH. But as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times points out in his blog, Swisher appears none too happy with the decision.

The good folks at USS Mariner, and others, have advocated that the Mariners acquire Swisher in a trade to play left field. Swisher has been rumored trade fodder ever since the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira, and Kepner acknowledges that trading Swisher before the end of camp is still an option.

If so, I’d say it’s a longshot he winds up in Seattle — the M’s have claimed to be up against their payroll budget, and Swisher is making $5.3 million this year. It’s the third year of his five-year, $26.75 million contract that pays $6.75 million next year, and $9 million in 2011, plus a $10.25 club option for 2012 with a $1 million buyout. In other words, he’s owed at least $22.05 million over the next three years — not unreasonable, but not quite as good as it looked pre-recession.

However, for a team that could be offensively challenged, Swisher — a 28-year-old switch-hitter with versatility — remains an intriguing prospect.

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