NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Orioles have met with a number of agents during the Winter Meetings. One of them was Nick Swisher’s.
It’s smart for the Orioles to meet with as many agents as they can. They’ll listen and discuss their players and see if there’s a potential fit.
When free agency started mlbtraderumors.com rated Swisher as the sixth most attractive free agent on the market, and predicted he’d end up with the Orioles.
Swisher is a polarizing player. In a Sports Illustrated poll of major league players last season, he finished second in the “phoniest player in baseball” poll, trailing only the universally admired Alex Rodriguez.
At 32, Swisher is a little old for a contract of several years. He made $10.25 million for the New York Yankees last season. Swisher isn’t looking to take a pay cut.
It would be hard to imagine Swisher’s high-energy personality meshing with low-key players such as Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis.
It would also be hard to imagine the Orioles giving him a three or four-year contract of $10 million or more. This week, Angel Pagan got one of those contracts and Shane Victorino got one for three years and $39 million. Swisher won’t accept less, at least not now.
Duquette made the point on Tuesday that he thought the market for mid-level talent was overpriced and the Orioles weren’t looking for “mediocre” players
Swisher has averaged 28 home runs and 90 RBIs in his major league career. That doesn’t make him mediocre, but he’s probably out of their price range—for now.
Duquette has made the point that the Orioles would like to add to their team, and Swisher’s ability to player first base and the outfield would help.
It’s not impossible that they sign Swisher, but it probably won’t happen today or tomorrow. If he’s available next month, Swisher may look more attractive, and Buck Showalter will work on how his personality may mesh with his team’s.