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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Swisher traded to Yankees

One word that you cannot use to describe Kenny Williams' off-season plans is predictable.

Today the Sox traded Nick Swisher and minor league pitcher Kanekoa Texeira to the Yankees for minor league pitchers Jeffrey Marquez, Jhonny Nunez, and INF Wilson Betemit.

First let's take a look some of the prospects involved in this deal*:

Jeffrey Marquez -14 GS, 80.2 IP, 93 H, 24 BB, 33 K, 4.69 ERA, 1.45 WHIP @ AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barr
Breaking down the #'s: The 24 yr old Marquez struck out  only 3.68/9IP(!) last season to go along with a 1.4 K:BB ratio.  Now the ratio is not bad in itself and it appears he has good control, but 3.68 K's per 9 in AAA? That is absurdly low.  His ERA is also deceiving as he allowed only 4.69 earned runs.  His actual runs per 9 (RAA) was 5.69.  That coupled with 10.38 hits/9 and we have the Carlos Silva of AAA.
Value: Nada

Jhonny Nunez - 34 G, 17 GS, 108.3 IP, 113 H, 33 BB, 116 K, 4.32 ERA, 1.35 WHIP @ AA Potomac & Trenton
Breaking down the #'s: At first glance Nunez's line doesn't look overwhelming.  One should expect a 23 yr old to be putting up those numbers in AA.  The catch comes when you look what he did once moved to the bullpen.  In 13 games as a reliever in the Yankee system, Nunez posted a K rate of 11.2/9 and a 2.9:1 K:BB ratio.  That's impressive. ERA and WHIP are less significant for relievers due to the small sample of innings they pitch.  His peripheral stats look good, however, so it appears he may have found a successful role as a reliever.
Value: A big league reliever with the potential to pitch high-leverage innings.

Kanekoa Texeira - 51 G, 61 IP, 46 H, 21 BB, 60 K, 1.33 ERA @ A Wintson-Salem & AA Birmingham
Breaking down the #'s: The 1.33 ERA jumps out until you realize his RAA is 2.21.  Still not bad. A good K rate of 8.85/9 and only allowed 6.79 H/9.  That appears to be a little lucky especially with minor league defenses behind him. 
Value: If Texeira can maintain his K rate as he moves through the minors there could be some potential but he still has a long way to go. 

So what exactly are the Sox getting here?  
Betemit: Switch hitting, utility infielder who has an .814 OPS vs RHP over the last 3yrs 
Marquez: Possible mop-up man out of the bullpen (please no)
Nunez: Potential big-league reliever capable of pitching in the late innings.

And the Yankees:
Swisher: A switch-hitting, versatile OF in the prime of his career coming off his worst season.
Texeira: Young RP that might pan out as a low-leverage RP.

If I'm a White Sox fan I gotta scratch my head here.  Sure there was a logjam of 1b/DH/Corner OF with Konerko, Swish, Dye, Quentin, and Jim Thome, but didn't it work out ok last season?  Konerko and Thome don't exactly embody the standard on which good health should be judged and Swisher is still young, signed relatively cheaply, AND able to play CF.  The Sox are going to miss his OBP, his power, his defensive versatility, and quite possibly his personality.

If Swisher hits .250 next year this trade is going to be an easy win for the Yankees.

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