Could Nick Swisher Return to Oakland?


It has been widely reported that the Cleveland Indians are interested in Brandon Moss and not much else is known about these trade talks. At first glance, it seems unlikely because Cleveland doesn’t have a huge need for Moss in his position spots and they won’t be willing to trade any major league talent that would truly serve the Athletics. So, we take a second glimpse and see that Moss would be an upgrade at some positions, namely right field, and the Indians may have some room to trade some prospects. Ok. I’m still not in love with this trade. I supported the Yoenis Cespedes trade and have come to think the Josh Donaldson trade was actually pretty smart current and forward thinking but I can’t make heads or tails of a potential Moss trade with the Indians. Unless Nick Swisher is on the table.

More from White Cleat Beat

I know what you’re saying, why would we want Nick Swisher back? Stop interrupting me and listen. We are not making this trade, Billy Beane is making this trade and Beane may see the value in bringing back a player who had a solid fan base in Oakland. Except for 2014, which was cut short due to injury, Nick Swisher hasn’t had a season with fewer than 20 home runs in his career (if you exclude the 20 games he played in 2004) and has maintained a .251 batting average and .353 on base percentage. Those are solid numbers and if Swisher can stay healthy in 2015, there’s no real indication that he couldn’t maintain his career stats for one more year.

The catch, of course, is that Swisher is due to make $15 million in 2015 and Oakland is unlikely to pay that salary so, for the trade to work, Cleveland would probably need to cover part of the salary or give Oakland a ton of prospects or a little of both. If this were an easy trade, Beane would have said yes by now and the fact that it has been “in discussion” for so long indicates that there are a lot of caveats that need to be explored for it to make sense.

Susan Slusser reported that the A’s would be interested in second base prospect Joe Wendle but it seems unlikely that that would be a one to one trade Beane could get behind. So howzabout we get Wendle, Nick Swisher and some cash. Would that make the trade worthwhile? The A’s get a veteran with some power left in his bat who could, theoretically, finish his career with the team that drafted him at a discounted price plus a strong prospect at a position the Athletics need covered. I’m still not crazy about it but there are serious benefits for both teams if the trade goes through like this but, ultimately, I think the A’s come out on the losing side of any trade for Moss with the Cleveland Indians. What are your thoughts?