New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher is ready to test MLB free agency this offseason. So much so, that he declined a one-year $13.3 million qualifying offer to stay in the Bronx.
As the free-agent market continues to heat up, Swisher should find himself with quite a few teams interested in his services. Having hit more than 20 home runs in every season since 2005, he can bring some consistent pop to a lineup, while playing solid defense in the field.
Here are five teams that should consider signing Nick Swisher this offseason.
Even the World Series Champs could use an outfield upgrade.
Even though the Giants went on to win the World Series after losing Melky Cabrera to suspension during the season, they could definitely still upgrade the LF position.
In 2012, the only thing the Giants seemed to be missing was power. Throughout the season they hit just 103 home runs, which was easily the worst number in the MLB. Aside from Buster Posey's 24, the next highest team total was 12.
Adding Swisher's consistent power ability (24 home runs in 2012) would do wonders for this lineup's run producing potential. Considering the dominance of their pitching staff, addressing that area would help to ensure that they remain a contender year after year.
Adding Swisher could help an already very talented Orioles lineup.
The Baltimore Orioles are looking to prove that their surprising success in 2012 was no fluke. If they are going to do so, and continue to compete in the tough AL East, there are upgrades to be made.
The Orioles do not have the biggest of payrolls to work with, so a player like Swisher makes sense. He would instantly be placed somewhere near the middle of the Orioles' lineup, able to take either first base or one of the outfield spots.
Swisher would help the team to maintain its impressive power numbers from last season and would give the Orioles another veteran leader in the clubhouse.
Adding Swisher would make the impressive Brewers lineup even better.
According to reports, the Milwaukee Brewers could make a strong run at the year's top free agent, Josh Hamilton. In the quite possible event that the bidding exceeds what their payroll can manage, Nick Swisher would be a great second option.
In 2012, the Brewers were already among the league's best power hitting teams. Adding Swisher to the mix would take that a step further.
Swisher could play right field in Milwaukee, making for quite an impressive outfield group with Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez already in the mix.
Considering their apparent pursuit of Hamilton, the Brewers no doubt have the money to spend. Swisher would come with a less expensive contract, allowing them to spend money to fill holes elsewhere as well.
Swisher would be a good option to replace Josh Hamilton in Texas.
Considering the level that the bidding for Rangers free agent Josh Hamilton could get to, there is a realistic chance that he will not be back in Texas next season. In light of that, the Rangers will want to fill that hole in the outfield and Nick Swisher could be their guy.
No, Swisher won't hit for as much power or average as Hamilton would, but the drop off is not that significant. Especially considering the other talent that this Rangers' lineup is stacked with and the fact that Swisher would likely come on a shorter and cheaper deal, it could work out well.
The wild card in this situation is the negotiation process with Hamilton. The bidding for his services could go on for a quite a while. The longer it does, the more the Rangers would risk missing out on a player like Swisher.
If the Rangers decide early on that Hamilton likely won't be back next season, expect them to quickly turn their attention to a solid replacement like Swisher.
Beyond Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox outfield is thin.
With what the Red Sox have done to unload some salary, mostly stemming from their trade with the Dodgers, they were left with significant holes on the roster. As much as that might mean a rebuilding year for some clubs, you can bet the Red Sox are ready to spend, and spend now.
Swisher would provide them with a player that can play anywhere in the outfield, as well as at first base. After his years in New York, he is no stranger to the big stage, nor the AL East competition.
If the Red Sox decide that Swisher is going to be a free-agent target this offseason, one would have to assume they would significantly outbid other teams.
As a result, Swisher could likely find himself in Boston in 2013.