Here’s David O’Brien (Atlanta-Journal Constitution) on how the Braves see Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady:
Nick Swisher — Pros: He’s only 28, and the switch-hitter is under a reasonable contract for three more years ($5.3 million this season, $6.75 million in 2010, $9 million in 2011, and $10.25 million club option for 2012 with a $1 mill buyout). Before his career-worst season for the White Sox in 2008, he had a .361 career OBP and 80 homers in 1,617 at-bats in parts of four seasons with Oakland, and he’d totaled 60 doubles, 57 homers and 173 RBI during the 2006-07 seasons. Swisher has the versatility to play adequate defense at three OF positions and 1B, though he’s probably a bit of a stretch in CF.
Cons: That contract no longer looks quite as attractive as it did before the market price for OFs took a dive this winter. It’s $22 mill for the next three years with the buyout. And that 2008 season wasn’t just below-average, it was awful. He hit .219 with a .332 OBP in 153 games, but did have 24 homers. And the Braves would probably have to trade at least prospect or two to get him.
Xavier Nady — Pros: Strong defensive outfielder who’s coming off a career-best offensive season, including a .305 average with 25 homers, 37 doubles, 97 RBI, .357 OBP and whopping .510 slugging percentage in 555 at-bats for the Pirates and Yankees, including a .307 average with RISP and .333 with RISP and two outs. Nady hit .317 with an .886 OPS vs. lefties. He can play all three OF positions and 1B.
Cons: His $6.55 mill salary in 2009, his last season before free agency, would eat up most or all of the remaining funds the Braves have. Plus, they’d probably have to give up a pitcher or solid prospect to get him, and then would have him just one season before he’s up for free agency.
Nady “can play all three OF positions,” huh? Anyway, Swisher is clearly the more attractive commodity, especially if you expect the market to rebound (a reasonable assumption). But, notice the pros outlined by O’Brien. Those reasons are exactly why the Yankees should keep him and move Nady. If you have to trade either player (to free up payroll, whatever), it really doesn’t make sense to hold on to X. Ship him out for a good player—prospect or otherwise—and move on.
(props to MLBTR)
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