Friday, December 18, 2009

My Christmas Wish:Yankees Trade Nick Swisher & Sign Johnny Damon

According to the NY Times' Tyler Kepner (via Twitter), Johnny Damon asked the Yankees about a 2 year deal for $20 million bucks on Thursday night. The Yankees though had the Nick Johnson deal in place so signing Damon apparently wasn't an option. As I wrote earlier, the Johnson signing probably ends Damon's time with the Yankees. I hope it doesn't.

The reason people think Damon's time with the Yanks is over is because the Yankees already have 4 OFs (Melky Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner) and Nick Johnson has no option but to DH since he's not playing over Mark Teixeira. Basically, there's no room for Johnny. I say make the room. Here's how: trade Nick Swisher.

Nick Swisher is under contract for 2 more years. He's slated to earn $6.75 million in 2010 and $9 million in 2011. Do the math and that works out to $15.75 million for 2 years. I'll gladly take Damon for 2 years @ $20 million than Swisher for 2 years @ $15.75 million. That's an extra $2 million and change per year for Damon. Sign me up.

The Yankees OF with Damon would be Damon in LF, Granderson in CF, and Melky in RF. With Swisher, it would likely be Melky in LF, Granderson in CF and Swisher in RF. The Yankees would benefit by having Melky's arm in RF as opposed to LF and more ground is going to be covered with Damon in the OF than with Swisher. The defense would be improved with Damon in and Swisher out.

I also think Damon is better offensively than Swisher. I can't get past Swisher's inability to hit with runners on. It's why I call him "The Rally Killer." Swisher was a .227 hitter last year with RISP. With RISP and 2 outs, Swish hit .163. With the bases loaded he hit .158. That's brutal. You have to go back to 2007 to find some respectable numbers for Swisher in the situational stats department.

Damon was pretty clutch last season, hitting .299 with RISP, .254 with RISP and 2 outs, and .375 with the bases loaded. He was even better in 2008 and every year before that was definitely respectable.

Damon hits for a much higher average (.288 career to Swisher's .245). They both hit for similar power (Damon career SLG = .439, Swisher career SLG = .460) and the OBP is similar as well (.355 career for Damon to Swisher's .357) Damon strikes out less (2009: 98 to 126) and hits into fewer DPs (2009: 9 to Swisher's 12). Damon is also faster. No matter how you break it down, JD gets my vote.

I know pulling this off isn't as simple as it sounds. The biggest obstacle is finding a trading partner for Swisher. And it has to be one that's willing to take on the whole contract. I'm not sure who out that has interest but I'd have to think someone would be willing to take him on. It would also depend on what Damon's final salary would be. If it were much higher than the $20 million, I might change my tune. My Christmas wish is to see Johnny return and to see Swisher get the boot. I doubt it will shake down that way, but one can hope.

So what say you? Swisher or Damon? All things considered, who do you prefer and why? I'm curious to know if there are any Swisher supporters out there. You definitely won't find one here.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,



Mr. Faded Glory said...

"The defense would be improved with Damon in and Swisher out."

I'm sorry, what? How? By what metric could you possibly come up with this ridiculous assertion?

J-Boogie said...

No metric. Just my opinion. I'm not saying necessarily that Damon is better defensively than Swisher (opinion is that he is). I think having Damon in LF and Melky in RF is an improvement on Melky in LF and Swisher in RF. The strongest arm is in RF which is where you want it. The weakest is in LF where you want it. Damon's also quicker so the overall range of the OF is improved also.

Why don't you think it's improved?

Brandon said...

For me it depends on what the Yankees get back for reaction could be pretty bad too

Mr. Faded Glory said...

Swisher's 2009 UZR/150 was -1.2. It's not stellar, but not that bad either. It's certainly adequate. He's been pretty consistent in that the previous three seasons his UZR/150 was positive, but not by much. He's essentially an average right fielder.

Damon's UZR/150 last season was -12.1. IN 2008 it was -36.1, and he posted all negative numbers - hugel;y negative - dating back to 2004 with Boston. His range is gone, he doesn't take good routes to balls, and I think we all know that his arm is absolutely horrible.

So Damon ranks between 12 and 36 runs below average defensively the last 2 seasons and Swisher is just about even.

Really, their defense isn't even close and I can't understand any argument to the contrary.

shail2chouhan said...
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J-Boogie said...

MR. FG- I get waht you're saying. Allow me to rephase, I like the defense better with Damon in LF and Melky in RF more than I do Melky in LF and Swisher in RF.

I agree Swisher is the better defneder but my personal preference is to have Damon over Swish.

J-Boogie said...

Brandon - it would depend a lot on what Cash could get back. I don't think trading him would be as easy as snapping one's fingers, but I'd have to think there's a taker out there somewhere.

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