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White Sox Acquire Nick Swisher from Athletics

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Having watched the A's a lot last year, their offense was also far worse than the Sox. Swisher often carried the team last season, so with a far better offense, i really think he can even improve on the predictions.

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The more I think about this trade, the more I like it. I'm also wondering if perhaps Quentin wasn't meant all along to be a replacement for Sweeney. There isn't much space for Sweeney in our outfield as of now, even if Quentin doesn't do well. I'd imagine Owens would take over in CF, moving Swisher to LF. The thing that worries me a bit, though, is when Dye leaves, or has to move to DH/1B. We don't really have anything to replace him, unless they're actually going to give Brian Anderson another chance.

 

Also, I've seen mention of using free agency to fill a majority of our holes. Financial concerns aside (in reality, we as fans should seldom if ever worry about how much a particular player costs. The White Sox aren't going to lower ticket prices because they saved money by not signing a player.), each worthwhile free agent we sign is going to cost us draft picks anyway, which is what we really need at this point. We have to fill our lower minor leagues with quality prospects, since they're so barren.

 

I don't feel including DLS in this trade hurts us as much as some seem to think, either. Whether we trade him or not, our minor leagues are in dire need of legitimate prospects, and Kenny needed to help keep the team competitive now. I think people forget that the minor leagues are there to help the parent club, whether it's through producing good MLB-caliber players, or helping to acquire good MLB-caliber players through trade. Whether the players we traded end up being stars, or busts, Swisher helps us quite a bit this year, and will likely help us for the next few years as well. In my eyes, that makes it a good trade.

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For those on the fence, here's BP's take:

 

Acquired OF/1B-S Nick Swisher from the Athletics for LHP Gio Gonzalez, RHP Fautino De Los Santos, and OF-L Ryan Sweeney.

 

 

To be blunt, this was the perfect move for Kenny Williams to pull off as a matter of taking his club's near-term chances seriously. It doesn't rate with Dave Dombrowski's achievements in this winter's Hot Stove League, but it's up there. Swisher's the sort of young veteran that the Sox can contend with now and several years into the future, he gives a heavily right-handed lineup some extra lefty sock (against right-handed pitching, of course), and he's a pull hitter from both sides of the plate coming to a park that has two friendly corners for him to take aim at.

 

The important thing to remember is that this isn't a player Kenny Williams has to worry about re-signing. The deal really only gets better when you get into the financials and consider his age. Swisher is entering his age-27 season, and he's signed through at least 2011—or the next four seasons—for a little more than $25.5 million, and just under $35 million if they pick up his 2012 option, which would be his age-31 season. Sneaking a peak at Nate's 2008 PECOTA cards and the MORP calculations, Swisher's productivity should be in the .300 range in EqA through 2012, with OBPs around .370 and slugging over .490 all the way through; that's good for about $58 million in value. Remember, no arbitration, no negotiation, and making that call right now, here in January, you're talking about acquiring a key piece for a contending lineup at a price any team that takes the 'c'-word seriously should be able to afford for five years. And because of the great likelihood that Swisher will deliver that value through the next five seasons, this is not at all like retaining Jermaine Dye or trading for Jim Thome—it's about trying to put a solid club on the field for those five years.

 

Indulge me as I make an unfair comparison. The Royals just spent $36 million for three years on an older, worse player—Jose Guillen—essentially just to get themselves taken seriously when they're ready to get all grown up in a few years. That's not an apples to apples comparison, of course—last spring, Swisher effectively traded two years of free agency for right-now financial security. Where this is an apples to apples comparison is that after losing out on the free agent market, Kenny Williams wound up doing something better than buying a top-shelf free agent—he acquired a player who will deliver better than most of this winter's premium free agents for a fraction of the cost.

 

In terms of what this does to the club's roster shape, somebody politely said that this creates a competition between Carlos Quentin and Jerry Owens for outfield playing time, with Swisher playing either center or left. On a purely offensive level, it's a no-brainer; Owens is just the latest product from the fifth-outfielder assembly line that makes you wonder why it was built. Unfortunately, there are those pesky real-world defensive considerations, and Swisher's not exactly a quality center fielder. Obviously, a solution that involves three at-bats for Quentin per start and late-game switches that put Owens in the game wouldn't be all that novel; heck, Ozzie Guillen could even make a point of pinch-running for Konerko with Owens if he reaches base in his fourth at-bat, game situation permitting, and optimizing his defense's alignment from there. However, the interesting mix of limitations and virtues that Swisher brings to the mix in picking an alignment lends some credence to the subsequent rumors about a potential deal with the Angels, where Paul Konerko might get sent to Anaheim while the Sox would potentially get Chone Figgins (and something else, of course). This would put Swisher at first, Figgins in center, and address in a pretty proactive manner any concerns about Konerko's near-term decline.

 

Of course, there's still the problem of who's going to pitch for this team, but maybe the Sox have another masterstroke up their sleeves. Unfortunately, they don't have a whole lot else to deal, having already traded three of their four best prospects. The rules prohibit their dealing the fourth until next summer, and there's not much else left of value that any other team would want. So they are left with the challenge of re-purposing one of their key components, like Konerko, in a deal to strike a better balance between offense and defense. Because right now, as fun as that offense should be, the Sox are still short of being contenders, essentially because of a pitching staff that has three guys they can count on and a couple of dozen question marks.

 

Finally, on a more personal level, I'm excited, in that Swisher's a lot of fun to watch hit, and now that I'm in Chicago, seeing him play in person as opposed to on the screen that much more often will be that much better, certainly. But as I say below, I'm also a wee bit disappointed on the level of my being an A's fan: seeing Swish play here will be a bittersweet thing.

 

 

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What does the line about the rules prohibit trading 4 of your top prospects mean? Can a team only trade up to 3 of their top prospects and what rank list is this based off?

 

 

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QUOTE(heirdog @ Jan 8, 2008 -> 09:38 AM)
What does the line about the rules prohibit trading 4 of your top prospects mean? Can a team only trade up to 3 of their top prospects and what rank list is this based off?

The specific rule is that you can't trade a player who is drafted by a team until 1 year after the draft. By that line, they're saying that Poreda is in our top 4, and therefore can't be traded yet.

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QUOTE(RockRaines @ Jan 8, 2008 -> 05:33 PM)
Maybe BP should have researched a bit more, Swish is FAR more deadly against LHP

Which year's stats are you looking at? I see in 2007 there is a nice wide gap in OPS in favor of LHP, but in his career numbers it's only about 35 points.

 

Josh Fields, on the other hand, eats left-handed pitchers for lunch.

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you'll love swish as a i mentioned in another thread.

 

 

 

 

Are any of these guys MLB ready, who do they compare to and which one has the highest ceiling?

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QUOTE(A's fan @ Jan 8, 2008 -> 08:11 PM)
you'll love swish as a i mentioned in another thread.

Are any of these guys MLB ready, who do they compare to and which one has the highest ceiling?

 

I'm sure Sweeney will see a lot of MLB team with you guys this year. Gonzalez maybe in Sept call up time. DLS, not this year. Maybe 1 or 2 away.

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QUOTE(Brian @ Jan 8, 2008 -> 06:13 PM)
I'm sure Sweeney will see a lot of MLB team with you guys this year. Gonzalez maybe in Sept call up time. DLS, not this year. Maybe 1 or 2 away.

 

 

 

Thanks I hope there at least average because swish was our best player and young star next to eric chavez.

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QUOTE(A's fan @ Jan 8, 2008 -> 08:35 PM)
Thanks I hope there at least average because swish was our best player and young star next to eric chavez.

 

Whatever happened to Eric Chavez anyways. These last past couple of seasons he has seemingly been really poor after being such a good player to begin his career.

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QUOTE(SoxFan101 @ Jan 8, 2008 -> 08:47 PM)
Whatever happened to Eric Chavez anyways. These last past couple of seasons he has seemingly been really poor after being such a good player to begin his career.

 

 

chave has been hurt and hasn't really put in the time to become the best he can it seems.

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QUOTE(A's fan @ Jan 8, 2008 -> 10:33 PM)
chave has been hurt and hasn't really put in the time to become the best he can it seems.

And, fairly or not, with anyone who's shown a dropoff in power these last few years, or who had historic power shots beforehand, there's always the PED issue to wonder about.

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