Matthews spoke with an Yankees official that was at this week’s organizational meetings who said that Carlos Beltran is on their “list,” but that they had to make a decision on Swisher first.
The players have similar numbers with Beltran’s being slightly better when he is healthy. Beltran is the better fielder too, but Swisher’s big advantage is in their ages. Swish will be 31 this offseason while Beltran turns 35 in April.
I think that Beltran’s injury history here is the biggest thing, but in the end it could come down to how much teams would be willing to give the Yankees for Swisher. If they can use him as part of a package to land a good starting pitcher this might be an easier decision to make.
The thing is that Swisher isn’t exactly young and will be a free agent after the 2012 season. That means that only teams looking to win it all next year will even be in the market for him. It could be hard to find a team in that position that is also willing to give up quality starting pitching.
A way to work around this is to involve a third team in negotiations, but that could take a while. The Yankees would have to find a willing trading partner before Beltran reached an agreement with another team.
Beltran has expressed a desire to become a Yankee in the past. Before he signed his $119 million deal with the Mets, his agent, Scott Boras, offered the Yankees a last second deal at a discount. However, the Yankees passed as their big offseason acquisition that year was Randy Johnson.