Before the offseason started there were rumors that Nick Swisher was looking for Jayson Werth type money (more than $100 million) as a free agent so it made sense that the Yankees, unwilling to overpay, would look elsewhere for an outfielder.
Then came another disappointing playoff performance and it was clear that Swish wouldn’t be getting his $100 million pay day, but it was still thought that he would get a lot. He eventually got four-years and $56 million to play for the Indians which comes out to just $14 million a year.
Considering that is basically what the Yankees paid Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui on similar deals it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable deal at all. However, even when his price tag dropped Swisher never heard from the Yankees, they never floated possibilities, there was no attempt at all to reach out to him. They offer him a qualifying offer so they could get their draft pick and Swisher never heard from them again.
“It hurt,” Swisher told Dan Martin of the NY Post. “When you are in a place for four years, that’s a long time in baseball years. You develop some relationships, and sometimes when you leave, that’s not what you want to do…
“When it boils down to it, they didn’t come to me,” said Swisher. “They didn’t even offer anything. So in a situation like that, as much as I loved that city and as hard as it was for me to leave, I had to do what was best for my family and myself.”
Not overpaying is one thing. When a guy starts out talking about Jayson Werth money that’s one thing, but along the way Cleveland got Swisher on a very reasonable deal. Not only would it have been nice to have Swisher still in this lineup, it would have been great to have a backup first baseman for Mark Teixeira, who has been injured every year in Pinstripes.
It’s a sign that the Yankees are very serious about their goal of $189 million by 2014. Just look at the Vernon Wells trade. The Yankees are basically paying Wells what they could be paying Swisher, but the big difference is that they won’t be paying Wells in 2014 when the $189 million mandate kicks in.
We saw a lot of that over the winter. The Yankees almost refused to make anybody multi-year offers, although they did eventually give one to Ichiro Suzuki. But there were rumors that Brian Cashman didn’t have the authority to make offers to free agents he wanted. He wanted to, but never made offers to Eric Chavez, Jeff Keppinger, or Nate Schierholtz.
So this is what we get, a team that has set a record with an over $230 million payroll, but one with major flaws, many injuries and almost no future money tied up with anyone not named Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, or CC Sabathia.
• Lefty reliever Cesar Cabral threw a simulated game yesterday and will throw an extended spring training game on Friday. He’s on the 60-day DL so he’s not eligible to come back until June, but it sounds like he’ll definitely be back by then.
• The Yankees bullpen phone wasn’t working yesterday. Whenever that happens on the road I always wonder if somebody is messing with them.
• You can buy Yankees tickets even for road games through TiqIQ.
(Photo by Flickr user Keith Allison)