This better not be how the Yankees think they can fill the holes at first base and center field.
New York has acquired CF/1B Nick Swisher in a trade with the Chicago White Sox. In exchange, the Yankees are shipping out infielder Wilson Betemit along with minor-league pitchers Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez to the Windy City. The Yanks also got minor league pitcher Kanekoa Texeira in the deal.
Swisher is Giambi-Lite—a power hitter who can't get a single to save his life. The 27-year old hit just .219 with 24 homers and 69 RBI in 153 games last year and is only a .244 lifetime hitter. His .219 mark in 2008 was the worst batting average among players with at least 502 plate appearances, the number needed to qualify for the batting title.
Marquez, 23, is a promising young righty who went 16-10 with a sub 3.00 ERA over the past two seasons at AA Trenton. He was 6-7 with a 4.69 ERA during his first stint at AAA in 2008.
Why make this move? To replace Wilson Betemit? The Yankees better not be banking on Swisher starting in 2009—this isn't a very good fall-back plan in case New York can't acquire free agent Mark Teixeira to play first base.
The Yankees could've just held onto their pitching prospect and had Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera hit .219 for them in center next year.
I don't mind trading away good minor leaguers for big time talent like Jake Peavy or Johan Santana, but why waste a guy on a nothing move like this?
Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report's New York Yankees Community Leader. His book "Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man" is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com. Jordan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org