Sunday, April 10, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:39 AM
The Retrieval Empire was on the verge of signing Nick Swisher, Jolly old Saint Nick himself.
Yet another farewell tour...
Long ago, under a previous owner, we acquired Swish for Wilson Betemit, an eternal former super-prospect, and two pitchers - Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez, whose combined careers would amount to 10 MLB innings and an ERA north of 7. He'd flopped in Chicago, pissing off Ozzie Guillen to the point of being banished. Swisher's personality exhibited bi-polar peaks and valleys. He was sort of crazy, and NY was a crap shot.
In four years with the Yankees, he hit 105 HRs and batted .268. On the average, that's better than anything Beltran has done for us since. And when Swish became a free agent, Cleveland courted him with a big, personalized Jumbotron video, the way Ohio State football coaches recruit high school juniors. They gave him nearly $60 million - ouch. We let him go.
Here's the record in Cleveland: 3 years, 32 HRs, 113 RBIs and a batting average of .228. They flipped him to Atlanta for scrap, and he was a horror show. Four home runs, .198. His knees are shot, he's 35, and Atlanta is picking up the tab. He's coming home, but I think it has more to do with his next career than his bat.
If anybody is responsible for the Yankees signing Swisher, it may be Dustin Ackley, who messed up two balls Friday against the Tigers, while Joe rested Mark Teixeira at 1B. I think Joe realized that if - or when - Tex goes down, we have no everyday 1B. Now, we do... maybe.
We have Swisher until June 15, when an opt-out clause kicks in. On that day, we either bring him up, or he can go anywhere.
But I think something else is going on here:
I think Swish is the kind of Rex Hudler/Boomer Esiason nut-job personality who could become a YES yes-man or even a radio host. New York is where he needs to be. (Not Scranton.) And who knows... maybe, just maybe, we will hear John yell "Swishalicious" one more time.