Nick Swisher played in 148 games this past season. It marked the seventh-straight season in which he had played in at least that many games. He is not the type of player you expect to go down to injury, but the Yankees may be exchanging him for a player who is. The fact is, it's difficult to find a player as durable as Swisher, and now that Swisher has rejected New York's qualifying offer, he will enter free agency unlikely to return to Gotham.
According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, Swisher was offered $13.3 million by the Yankees. The offer is considered a qualifying offer, so if Swisher signs elsewhere, the Yankees will get draft pick compensation. While the rejection means that Swisher will become a free agent, it did not come as a surprise to the Yankees.
"I'm not surprised whatsoever," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "I expected it. I like the fact that we can continue dialogue with everybody that we would like to and still be in position to gain draft picks as a worst-case scenario, which would benefit our farm system as we move forward."Swisher has been with the Yankees for the last four seasons. He made $10.25 million in 2012, and he may very well be worth more than the $13.3 million he was offered. There have already been rumors that the Seattle Mariner among others are interested in signing the 31-year old outfielder.
If New York is not able to work out a free agent deal with Swisher, they will have to look elsewhere for outfield help. They may be able to improve the position offensively (although Swisher is a very solid offensive player), but they will struggle to find a player who has been as consistent and as available as Swisher.