Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Heyman: Swisher Wants Werth Money

From Jon Heyman:
Word going around is, Nick Swisher, the Yankees' eternally upbeat rightfield power supply, may seek a "Jayson Werth contract" when he hits free agency at the end of the year.

To baseball fans, that is well-known to mean $126 million over seven years. In other words, it's a lot more money than most folks have guessed so far for Swish.

Second-hand or not, some Yankees people have heard that's the figure Swisher is thinking about and may at least shoot for, and one other source who's spoken to Swisher said that, indeed, Swisher has shown real interest in Werth's deal. It's believed the two sides have had no extension talks yet, as it is team policy to wait for free agency, except in rare cases.

While the $126-million figure is two to three times more than most of the estimates for Swisher, free agency brings some surprises. The Werth deal, for instance.

Swisher initially gave the usual player-speak answer, "I haven't thought about it,'' when asked if he sees the Werth deal as a fair comp for him. I tried to lighten the mood by asking if he had ever "heard'' of the Werth contract, and Swisher characteristically responded by laughing uproariously. We both know, of course, that any corner outfielder who's a very good player having a very good year (but is a bit short of being a cornerstone player) has to have thought long and hard about the Werth deal.

Eventually, he did say about Werth's Nationals contract, "It's a great deal for him.'' And then Swisher did challenge me to look at the record.

"Check it out,'' Swisher implored me. "See what it says.''

So I did. And statistically speaking, it's pretty darned close between the two corner outfielders.
Heyman goes on to explain the stats, and yes, they are pretty close. That said, the Yankees, or any team, would be absolutely crazy to give Swisher that kind of deal and I'm almost 100% sure they won't come close.

Heyman also spoke with four baseball executives about the idea of Swish getting a similarly ridiculous deal:
1. Executive No. 1. Werth is better because he can play center field as well as right field and has a better postseason track record than Swisher (that's one area where Werth has outdone Swisher).

2. Executive No. 2. It doesn't matter how they match up because 'the Werth deal is insane.'' That exec said he could see Swisher getting $45 million for three years, or $60 million for four, which is well short of Werth and more along the lines of the usual projections.

3. Executive No. 3. Swisher's case isn't crazy considering the Werth contract. (That exec may well have studied the numbers.)

4. Executive No. 4. Laughter. That exec apparently felt the idea iof Swisher being a $126-million player was quite amusing.
I highlight the 2nd executive's comments because those, to me, are all that matter. Just because one guy gets a crazy deal doesn't mean anyone else, or the original players, is worth it or deserves it. Also, the $45 or $60 million deals are much reasonable and realistic. That is what Swisher needs to realize heading into free agency, or at the very least the Yankees have to realize it. Executive number 4 was also pretty accurate in his assessment of the situation.

Sorry Swish, $126 million shouldn't and isn't happening.

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