Nick Swisher Red Sox Rumors: How He Would Impact Boston's Offensive Attack

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 13:  Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees smiles at his dugout as he runs the bases after his third inning grand slam against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium on August 13, 2012  in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

With a boatload of money to spend and holes in the outfield and at first base, the Red Sox are exploring a number of options to bolster their offense this offseason.

Perhaps the most intriguing name that has come forward to this point is former Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher, who the team is now showing interest in according to the New York Post.

Over his four seasons in the Bronx, Swisher hit .268/.367/.483, 105 HR, 349 RBI, 331 R, but he leaves New York on a sour note after going just 5-for-30 with two RBI in the postseason.

In fact, over 46 postseason games in his career, Swisher has hit just .169 with four home runs and eight RBI in 154 at bats. Despite that, he figures to get a big-money, multi-year deal this offseason as one of the better bats on the market.

Outside of Boston, the Mariners, Orioles, Phillies, Giants, Braves and Nationals have all shown some level of interest in Swisher, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

However, of that group, it is Boston where he would have the biggest impact offensively, as the front office looks to re-shape a team that was changed drastically following a blockbuster deal with the Dodgers that shipped out Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, and has Cody Ross departing in free agency.

As it stands now, the middle of the Boston order is shaping up to be Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Will Middlebrooks and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. 

While Middlebrooks hit a solid .288 with 15 HR and 54 RBI in just 267 at bats as a rookie, expecting him to shoulder the load of hitting fifth at this point may be asking too much.

Signing Swisher would give the team a proven run producer to slot behind Ortiz and bolster the entire lineup as a result.

As for where Swisher would play, that will depend largely on what else the Red Sox do with their offseason.

Currently, it looks like Jerry Sands will play first base and Ryan Sweeney and Daniel Nava will fill the corner outfield spots.

The team's best option, should they not sign anyone other than Swisher, may be to play him at first base, play Nava in left field everyday and platoon Sands and Sweeney in right field. Ryan Kalish should also be in the mix in the outfield as well.

Considering pitching is the team's biggest area of concern, the Red Sox would likely spend to improve their rotation before they opted to bring aboard any other offensive reinforcements along with Swisher.

So one could expect a Red Sox lineup with Swisher on board to look something like this:

CF Jacoby Ellsbury
LF Daniel Nava
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH David Ortiz
1B Nick Swisher
3B Will Middlebrooks
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
RF Jerry Sands/Ryan Sweeney
SS Jose Iglesias

It's not quite what they entered last season with, but if they can add a starting pitcher or two and shore up the bullpen, it is an offense that appears good enough to at least stay competitive in the deep AL East.

If nothing else, it will make for an interesting Opening Day when the Red Sox head into Yankee Stadium to kick off their season with a three-game series in front of the same fans that showered down boos on Swisher in October.