Earlier this week, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that the Indians would like to move Nick Swisher in the aftermath of the Brandon Moss deal. In his article, Cafardo lists the Brewers among a bevy of teams that could be possible trade partners with Cleveland. Though the Brewers are in need of some offense, Nick Swisher is not a fit to come to Milwaukee.
Swisher is a 34 year old switch hitting outfielder and first basemen that began his career in Oakland in 2004. Nick has a long track record above average on base skills and solid power over his career, but has been on a steady decline over the past three seasons. After posting a strong .837 OPS in 2012 for the Yankees, Swisher has seen that number fall to .763 in 2013 and .608 in 2014. He posted career worst marks in isolated power, walk rate and strikeout percentage last season. Swisher also got bit by the injury bug, playing in only 97 games with knee troubles last year.
At this point, Nick’s defense is so poor that he shouldn’t be looked at as much more than a designated hitter. In 2014, he posted UZR/150 marks of -18.4 at first base and a truly atrocious -60.4 in the outfield. With his injury troubles limiting his mobility and range on defense, Swisher’s value is significantly limited to National League teams.
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Swisher’s only place logistically on this Brewers team would be as a first base partner for Adam Lind against lefties. The issue with that idea, however, is that Nick was useless against lefties last year, posting a .168/.274/.208 line in 101 at bats against southpaws in 2014. In house options like Luis Jimenez or Jason Rogers should easily be able to produce better than that for a fraction of the cost.
Though the Brewers have a need for a veteran, versatile player off the bench, Nick Swisher is not the man for the job. At 34, Swisher has been steadily declining offensively for the past three years and provides negative defensive value. He hits lefties even worse than the player he would platoon with at first, and he is still owed at least $30 million through 2016. Doug Melvin would have to be crazy to pull this one off.