“Listen, Nick Swisher was awesome for us. If we don’t have him, we’re going to miss him big-time.”—Yankees GM Brian Cashman
Regardless of what Yankees GM Brian Cashman thought of Nick Swisher when he acquired him from the White Sox four years ago, it’s safe to say that he surpassed all expectations. In four years, he averaged 26 home runs and 34 doubles a season and had an .850 OPS. He gave the Yankees switch-hitting balance. He could play any outfield position or first base. He also brought energy and noise and laughter to the clubhouse.
When I asked Cashman about the holes he’s trying to fill, he turned the answer into a tribute to Nick Swisher.
“Listen, Nick Swisher was awesome for us,” he said. “This is a player in the marketplace, a switch hitter, plate discipline, power. He can play multiple positions.
“Teixeira goes down, you can swing him to first base. That is a beast. What he has done for us has been significant.
“Especially when you balance the lineup out and you have all these left-handers, it’s nice to have a Teixeira and Swisher.”
Swisher made $10.25 million in 2012, and because he’s still only 31 years old, he’s could find himself in a nice position this off-season as the free-agent market plays out.
“We’re trying to retain him,” Cashman said. “If we don’t have him, you’re going to miss him big time.
“He’s a helluva player. If it’s not him out there–I can’t say one way or the other, I can’t predict—it’s going to take a lot of work to replace what we provided, not just production-wise but that switch-hitting ability, that flexibility, that athleticism. That was beneficial as hell.
“Before we got him, he was playing center fielder everyday for the White Sox. He’s not a center fielder, but he can play left, he can play right, he can DH. He’s durable. Switch-hitter. Power. Plate discipline.
“He’s a good man. There are a lot of things there that are positives.”