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Twitter is buzzing that the Yankees are deciding whether to pick up Nick Swisher’s option for $10.25 million, or make a play for Carlos Beltran for more money. Really?
“He’s on our list,” said a team official. “But we have to make a decision on Swisher first.”
For the love of Randy Johnson, don’t sign Beltran to be the only right fielder. Have we completely forgotten the Yankees history of signing guys over 35 for big money? Have we completely forgotten Beltran’s recent history with the Mets? Look at the Mets over the last five seasons? You see a lot of success there?
If he’s not healthy, he’s pointless. Not to mention, the guy wasn’t exactly sunshine and kittens around the clubhouse. The Yankees already lead the league in players only concerned with themselves; they don’t need to add another.
The Yankees looking at Carlos Beltran is the equivalent of looking for an apartment in Manhattan. The apartment is in a cool neighborhood, so you tend to ignore the 5th floor walkup, the slanted floors, no sunlight, and thin walls capable of hearing neighbors possibly fighting or having sex. The Yankees can’t simply ignore Beltran’s past. Yes, Beltran was awesome in the playoffs. In 2005 and 2006. You know who else was awesome back then? Johan Santana. I’m sure the Yankees could take him off the Mets hands too.
Sure Swisher is overpriced for a guy that only hit .260 last year, but he did have 23 homers and 85 RBIs. Swisher also brings the energy of a cokehead. Before Swisher arrived with his bro haircuts and elaborate handshakes, the Yankees looked like a bunch of zombies. A player’s intensity is no reason to pay $10 million, but does make him a much better fit for the Yankees over the course of a season.
There is no doubt that Beltran’s career is much better than Swisher’s, because Beltran has had some monster seasons. But their overall stats aren’t that different. Beltran averages .283, 23 HRs, and 88 RBIs a year. Swisher is .254, 26 HRs, and 83 RBIs (Swisher’s low average is mostly due to 2008, when he hit .219 for the White Sox).
The stat that truly matters? Beltran hasn’t played 150 games in a season since 2005. Swisher played in 150 or more games every year since 2006.
We all remember Beltran’s post-season heroics, and Swisher’s ineffectiveness in the playoffs is definitely a problem. Yes, if the playoffs were starting now, I would rather have Beltran over Swisher. But the Yankees aren’t in the playoffs. There’s a full a season to play, and way too much time for Beltran to get hurt.