5 Reasons Nick Swisher Is the Perfect Red Sox Outfield Replacement for 2013
Let's be clear about one important fact about the Boston Red Sox—they are not rebuilding.
They are re-setting.
Rebuilding is what small market teams do. Rebuilding is what perennial losers do year after year. The Red Sox are neither of those.
With Ben Cherington's bold statement on Saturday morning in unloading the contracts of Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett along with prized piece Adrian Gonzalez to the Los Angeles Dodgers, he simply hit the reset button.
By doing so, Cherington gives the Red Sox financial flexibility, something that clearly hamstrung the franchise with the three contracts that headed off to Hollywood.
Now, the question remains—what next?
Well, pitching should absolutely be the priority, considering that Red Sox starters rank 26th in the majors.
But other pieces will be needed as well, and one of those pieces just could be New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher.
The Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo suggested in his Sunday Notes column that Swisher will be on the Red Sox radar, provided that he won't ask for a Jason Werth-type deal. That's exactly the type of contract that Cherington will be avoiding.
But a three-or-four year deal could certainly be palatable for a proven veteran like Swisher.
Here are five reasons why Swisher could be a great fit for the Red Sox.
1. Swisher Keeps Clubhouse Loose
You simply won't find many players in baseball with a personality quite like New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher.
Swisher is his own man, to be sure. That doesn't mean he bucks authority, or goes running to management whenever he feels slighted.
Swisher simply lives his life his way, and his way has never been a way that serves as a detriment to team. Swisher's way keeps a clubhouse loose, something that the Boston Red Sox have lacked for quite a while.
Think back to the days of Kevin Millar—that's what Swisher and his personality would bring back to the Red Sox clubhouse.
2. Consistent Run Production and Ability to Get on Base
New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher has topped the 30 home run mark only once in his career, has never totaled 100 RBI, has never won a Silver Slugger and has just one All-Star selection to his credit.
But Swisher has easily been a consistent producer throughout his career.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, Swisher averages 28 HR and 90 RBI over a 162-game period. Swisher has also logged six straight seasons with at least 150 games played.
That production, combined with his solid .360 lifetime on-base percentage, makes Swisher a model of consistency not seen in right field in Boston for some time.
3. Swisher Can Handle Bright Lights, Big City and Media Scrutiny
If there is one thing that is absolutely necessary to play for the Boston Red Sox, it's the ability to handle life on a grand stage and to deal with a local media presence that's well-known for its...um...abrasive nature.
New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher can certainly check off both of those requirements.
The Boston press has been known to grate on players quickly. Just ask Ted Williams and Jim Rice.
Swisher would have no such concerns in Boston.
4. Swisher's Classic 'Dirt Dog' Style of Play Fits Perfectly in Boston
If there is one thing that Boston Red Sox fans love, it's a guy who's not afraid to get dirty, a guy who's not afraid to literally do whatever it takes to win a ballgame.
Trot Nixon, Brian Daubach, Bill Mueller, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Millar and Jason Varitek were/are all guys revered in Boston for their scrappy, hard-nosed, blue-collar style of play.
No one should have any doubts whatsoever that current New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher fits that mold.
5. A Proven Winner Is Never a Bad Thing in Any Clubhouse
The Boston Red Sox are on their way to a third consecutive season out of the playoff picture, and their first losing season since 1997.
While the current clubhouse has guys who have tasted success and own World Series rings (David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester), it's never a bad thing to add proven winners.
Nick Swisher won a World Series ring with the Yankees in 2009 and has participated in the postseason on numerous occasions. Instilling a winning attitude is what GM Ben Cherington will be working on, and if Swisher can be had for a reasonable contract, a winner is what he will receive in return.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.