Pros and Cons of Signing Nick Swisher to a Big-Money Deal

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 03:  Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees looks on against the New York Mets during their game on July 3, 2011 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

As more and more free agents find homes, the off-season player market continues to thin by the day. However, one intriguing option on the offensive side of things that is still available is outfielder Nick Swisher.

Swisher wrapped up a four-year stint with the Yankees last season, which he averaged a .268 BA, 26 HR, 87 RBI line.

A number of teams have kicked the tires on Swisher so far this off-season, but according to a tweet from Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, several teams have legitimate interest.

Swisher is by no means a slam dunk option, but he would be a solid addition to most team's lineups. Getting legitimate value out of him given what he's likely to cost may not be easy, but with each passing day his price may well be dropping.

Here is a look at the pros and cons of signing Swisher to a big-money, multi-year deal:


Swisher is not a premiere run producer, but he has topped the 20 home run mark in each of the last eight seasons and is someone who can deliver solid production hitting fifth or sixth in a team's lineup.

He's averaged 151 games per season since becoming an everyday player, so injuries are not a concern, which makes him a bit safer of a signing.

Swisher has never been a high batting average guy, but he offsets it with solid plate discipline. He has a career .361 on-base percentage and has drawn over 80 walks five different times in his career, making it easier to overlook a .256 career average.

Then there are the intangibles that Swisher bring to a team, as his outgoing personality and veteran leadership would be a welcome addition to any clubhouse.

Is he an elite player? No. But Swisher is the type of complimentary player who could push a team over the top with his consistent production and positive veteran influence.


The biggest knock on Swisher, and the reason he was more or less run out of New York, is his track record of struggles in the postseason.

This past postseason, Swisher went 5-for-30 with just two RBI in eight postseason games much to the ire of Yankees fans. 

That was nothing new though, as he has hit just .169/.283/.305 with four home runs and eight RBI in 154 career postseason at bats.

He will also be 32 this coming season, and seeing as he's likely to command at least a four-year contract, it's hard to envision him continuing his current level of production through his upcoming contract.

Tack on the fact that he's a sub par fielder with little to no speed, and really all you're getting out of Swisher is a slightly above average run producer whose best years are likely behind him.

He's the best remaining option for a team looking for some pop, which will likely mean someone overpaying for him.

All in all, it appears that the risks and drawbacks may outweigh the positives that Swisher brings, but it all depends on where he winds up and how much money he gets