If Nick Swisher signs with the Indians for a reported 4 years for $52 million the Yankees will have again taken a step back for next season. There is no question that Nick Swisher is a better player than Ichiro. Swisher is in his prime while Ichiro is well past his. The only thing Ichiro has on Swisher is his speed and defense
Swisher has been in pinstripes since 2009 and he hasn’t disappointed. He was acquired to be the first baseman, then Mark Teixeira was signed. He was then positioned to be the backup in the OF and at 1B. In early April, Xavier Nady had to have Tommy John surgery and since then Nick has manned RF.
What Swisher does, Ichiro cannot. He battles at the plate. Meaning more pitches are thrown and better chance to get to bullpens. He has power, averaging almost 26 home-runs for each full season of his career. His defense is steady; he makes the plays he supposes to. He is a heads up base runner.
Ichiro has a simplistic approach at the plate. He doesn’t take pitches or get walks. He is the definition of a singles hitter, who is contingent on his 39 year old legs. He has little power. He is just a worse version of Brett Gardner*, but he gets paid more.
Losing Swisher and replacing him with Ichiro is turning the Bronx Bombers into the Bronx Bunters. Swisher reported salary would be easy to fit in the 2014 budget especially with the knowledge that Ichiro is getting a tax hit of between $6.5 million to $7 million. That makes Swisher projected $13 million very plausible and he is the clear cut better player.