MLB Rumors: 5 Reasons Why Philadelphia Phillies Should Sign Nick Swisher

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Why Philadelphia Phillies Should Sign Nick Swisher

Howard Smith - US PRESSWIRE

The New York Yankees reportedly have no interest in bringing back free agent outfielder Nick Swisher, meaning the 31-year old outfielder will test the open market.

Swisher had a rough final months with the Yankees, getting benched in the playoffs during which he went just 5-for-30 (.167), and then saying Yankees fans got under his skin.

He did hit .272 with 24 home runs though in addition to 93 RBIs and 77 walks, and those are pretty good offensive numbers. Swisher strikes out a lot (141 in 2012) but that would be nothing new to Philadelphia Phillies fans that have seen Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard, and Jayson Werth over the years.

His six-year, $36 million deal expired after the season, making him one of the hottest commodities on the free agent market. While Swisher won’t touch the kind of deal a player like Josh Hamilton will get, he should be in the market for something around five years, $75 million.

The expected top free agent outfielders are Hamilton, B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, and Swisher. Swisher gets points for his consistency and the fact that he’s a switch-hitter, and he would fit well on the Phillies.

The Phillies essentially need to fill three outfield spots, as Juan Pierre may leave in free agency and center and right field were filled by Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, respectively.

A double platoon in the outfield would work well with Pierre and Darin Ruf in left field and Domonic Brown and John Mayberry, Jr. in right field. The Phillies may feel that they’re not comfortable with that much inexperience, and in that case, Swisher would be a superb fit as a corner outfielder.

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He’s a Fine Player

Howard Smith - US PRESSWIRE

Nick Swisher hit .272 with 24 home runs and 93 RBIs this season, and he’s been remarkably consistent over the last eight seasons. Since 2005, Swisher has averaged 26 home runs and 83 RBIs, and he’s topped 20 every year.

Swisher displays exceptional patience at the plate, having drawn at least 95 walks four times and reaching 75 or more every year since ’06. Swisher is one of just five American League players since ’06 to have hit at least 185 home runs with an on-base percentage of .365 or greater.

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He’s a Switch Hitter

Howard Smith - US PRESSWIRE

In addition to being fine with the bat, Nick Swisher is a switch-hitter. That being said, if the Philadelphia Phillies do sign him, they won’t have to worry about breaking up the three lefties in a row (Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Swisher).

The Phillies obviously need an outfielder, and Swisher is also a power bat that will help an offense that just lost Hunter Pence.

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He’s Not Josh Hamilton

Howard Smith - US PRESSWIRE

The New York Yankees will likely lose Nick Swisher this season (and maybe Curtis Granderson), so they will definitely be in the market for Josh Hamilton.

Considering Hamilton is coming off an MVP caliber campaign, he’s going to be in the mix for a ridiculous salary. At 31 years old and a left-handed hitter, it’s not unreasonable to expect Hamilton to get something around seven years, $180 million.

By not having to bid for Hamilton, the Philadelphia Phillies may be able to get Swisher for a reasonable price.

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He Helps the Team Win Now

Howard Smith - US PRESSWIRE

No one knows how much time the Philadelphia Phillies have left if they want to win another world championship, but it’s not many years.

Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee are all in their low to mid thirties. Utley, Halladay, and Ruiz could be in their final years with the team as well, so the Phillies really need to go out if they want to compete with the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.

Nick Swisher would help the club do so.

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He’s Low-Risk

Howard Smith - US PRESSWIRE
No GM wants to be that guy that handed out a mammoth deal only to see the player bottom out in year three. That’s the case with the New York Yankees and Alex Rodriguez, as the team is actually trying to get rid of him already even though he still has five years and $114 million left on his 10-year deal.

Nick Swisher has shown enough consistency over the years that he’s a low-risk player but he can really produce.