Once upon a time, before the Yankees signed Carlos Beltran to play right field for the next three seasons, the team dubbed Nick Swisher as their every day right fielder. For the most part, Swisher was a valuable asset to the team and was on the 2009 World Series Championship winner. But since Swisher’s departure after the 2012 season, his career had taken a nose dive, and Swisher found himself bouncing from team-to-team.
After being released from the Atlanta Braves two weeks ago, it seemed Swisher’s career could have been over, but the Yankees decided to take a chance on him and are planning to offer Swisher a minor league deal pending a physical. So, what could the potential signing of Nick Swisher mean for the Yankees?
The signing would provide them depth in a few areas stemming from first base to the outfield. The Yankees already have Dustin Ackley as Mark Teixeira‘s back-up, but the Yankees could use the next two months–before Swisher’s June 15th opt-out option–to see if Ackley is a viable option on the days where Teixeira needs a day off. The Yankees could also use Swisher in the outfield, like they have during most of his tenure, but there are two roadblocks this time around: Beltran and Aaron Hicks.
Beltran is the every day right fielder and Hicks is the fourth outfielder, although Hicks is expected to get plenty of playing time in order to keep Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner fresh. But should an injury happen to Beltran and/or Hicks, Swisher could find himself in the Bronx with something to prove.
Despite only hitting six home runs in 75 games last season, Swisher could still have some power remaining in his bat, and his swing would be perfect for the short porch at Yankee Stadium. And while Swisher has completely tailed off offensively since 2014, he might have something left in the tank.
The Yankees aren’t expecting miracles, and they know they might never get the Nick Swisher that was an All-Star, but it’s a low-risk, high reward deal, and seeing what Swisher has to offer wouldn’t hurt. In fact, if they like what they see, they could rejuvenate Swisher’s career, which the team has been known to do. Does bringing Curtis Granderson‘s power bat back to life or putting Nathan Eovaldi‘s pitching career back on track ring a bell? If the Yankees could work miracles with Granderson and Eovaldi, then there’s no telling what the team could do for Swisher.