Nick Swisher Deserves to Get Jayson Werth Money in Free Agency...Sort of

Christopher BenvieCorrespondent IIAugust 22, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 14:  Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees celebrates after connecting on a two-run homer in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium on August 14, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Current New York Yankee and impending free agent Nick Swisher has made it known that he wants to get paid like Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth (via MLB Daily Dish).

When Werth was 31 years old, the same age as Swisher this season, he made a splash in free agency, finding himself a rich, seven-year, $126 million cotract to man the outfield for the Nationals.

Pretty much every pundit in baseball scratched his head when the deal was signed.

While Werth was a good player for the Phillies, nobody assumed he could earn over $100 million with his free-agent contract. 

Coming off of his 2010 season for the Phillies, Werth was a .296 hitter with a .388/.532/.921 batting line attached to his name. He led the National League in doubles, with 46. In addition, he added 27 home runs and drove in 82 runs while scoring 106.

The Nationals should have been leery of singing this deal. Only once before had Werth batted over .273 in his career. Beyond that, only once previously did he drive in more RBI during his career: in 2009 with the Phils, bringing home 99 runners.

Fast forward a couple of years, and here we have a brash, 31-year-old Swisher looking for his pay day.

He does not lead the American League in any statistical category. However, he has knocked 18 dingers while adding 69 RBI and 57 runs on the heels of a .270/.355/.480/.834 batting line.

None of which are career bests for Swisher.

However, his importance to this Yankees team cannot be overlooked; especially this season.

Swisher carried the Yankees in the month of June, when they were injury plagued and in need of offense. Swisher hit .321/.406/.548/.954 that month, driving in 14 and scoring 17 runs.

Of his 27 hits, 11 were for extra bases. 

In the month of August, he is doing the same thing, batting .312/.404/.532/.937 with 25 hits, 15 RBI, 17 runs and nine extra-base hits.

He is a leader. He provides a spark to his team.

Nick Swisher does in fact deserve Jayson Werth money...if you are referring to the $13 million he is earning in 2012 and the $16 million he'll be making in 2013.

Swisher's value should fall somewhere in the middle of that range. Certainly nowhere near the $21 million or more he is seeking.

A more reasonable comparison statistically and financially for Swisher might be J.D. Drew, who at 31 years old signed a five-year deal with the Boston Red Sox worth $70 million, paying him $14 million per season.

Drew, for all of his faults, was actually a better hitter than Swisher, though Swisher can generate slightly more power.

With general managers aware of the big-money flops that the Nationals and Red Sox have signed in Werth and Carl Crawford, the idea of Swisher getting $100 million is ludicrous.

Swisher getting J.D. Drew money, that could happen.