Nick Swisher has hit at least 23 home runs in seven straight seasons. His OPS the last three years was one point lower than David Wright's and a point higher than Ryan Zimmerman's. He has a .366 OBP over that span. The Phillies need power and on-base skills from a corner outfielder. So why no love for Swish?
The Phillies haven't really been linked to Swisher at all this offseason, which is strange given their need in the outfield and their deficiencies at taking pitches and hitting the ball out of the park.
Perhaps we haven't seen a push for Swisher because of how much money he expects. It was reported last season that Swisher was seeking Jayson Werth-type money; Werth got $126 million over seven years from the Nationals.
Swisher won't make nearly that much. He's more in line for something in the four-year, $60-million range. Keep in mind that B.J. Upton, who is four years younger and plays a more important defensive position, got $75 million over five years from Atlanta.
There are two other issues with Swisher. One is his big personality, which shouldn't really be a concern as he's had no off-the-field character issues ... the scrutiny has come more from his haircuts and celebrations. Winning teams hide distractions, and Swisher would help the Phillies win. He's been worth 3.8 WAR per season the last four years.
The other issue is that signing Swisher would cost the Phillies the 16th overall pick in next June's draft. The Yankees extended Swisher a qualifying offer, which he declined, meaning that the signing team loses its first-round pick (if that pick is after No. 10) and every team behind it moves up a slot.
But if the options are Swisher at $14-15 million per year or Cody Ross at $9-10 million per year, Swisher is the clear choice. His career OPS is 45 points higher, he has five more seasons of 20+ homers, he's a switch-hitter while Ross is a righty who doesn't hit righties, and Swisher takes pitches while Ross does not.
Someone will surely bring up his postseason woes (.186 hitter in 46 playoff games), but what do you put more stock in -- those 181 plate appearances or his 5,013 in the regular season?