We've written a lot this week about Nick Swisher, the best available free agent outfielder in the wake of the unexpected marriage between the Angels and Josh Hamilton. The topic of draft pick compensation has come up quite a bit, inviting the following question...
Obviously that question has sub-sections. It's not a straight-up trade of Swisher-for-the-16th pick -- it would be the 16th pick plus at least $56-60 million over four years for Swisher. That price has likely increased with Hamilton's signing.
Because of his pricetag and the questionable fit he'd be in the clubhouse, the Phillies haven't shown much interest in Swisher. Ruben Amaro also seems to be leaning toward short-term deals in an effort to rebuild an aging roster. It is likely why he was still interested in Ichiro even after acquiring the powerless Ben Revere and Michael Young.
But forget for a minute that they haven't made much of an effort to sign Swisher. This question is about whether you'd prefer to give up that first-round pick to give Swisher a long-term deal, or make a trade for a corner outfielder like Alfonso Soriano (provided it doesn't cost Domonic Brown).
The way the new CBA works is that the Phillies would forfeit their first-round selection if they sign a free agent who was extended a qualifying offer (one year, $13.3 million) from his former team. The pick would be lost and, in the Phillies' case, every team after No. 16 would move up a spot.
For reference, here are some former 16th overall picks:
2008: Brett Lawrie
2006: Jeremy Jeffress
2005: Chris Volstad
2004: David Purcey
2002: Nick Swisher