Swisher makes Sox better for '08 

January, 3, 2008
01/03/08
6:59
PM ET
By acquiring Nick Swisher from the A's for three prospects, the White Sox get a strong power/on-base guy entering his prime years, with four years of control remaining at very favorable salaries.

Swisher's skills are somewhat underappreciated because he doesn't hit for average, but he gets on base extremely well, runs deep counts and has plus power to all fields, something that will help him get back over 30 homers with the move to a good hitters' park.

Swisher is a borderline star offensive player. He has a great approach and runs very deep counts and has above-average home run power that has been dampened somewhat by his home field. Oakland has played him some in center field, where he's adequate but no better than average; he's above-average in left, despite getting the occasional bad read. The White Sox are probably going to play Carlos Quentin, Jermaine Dye and Swisher in their outfield, so someone subpar will have to man the middle. The White Sox's offense in 2007 finished last in the American League in runs scored and in OBP (this is not a coincidence, kids) and their top three home run hitters are all past their offensive primes, so Swisher provides a remedy to both of their main offensive problems. He's 27 years old and entering his prime years, and he's under control for four years plus an option (his age 27-30 seasons) at very favorable salaries. The White Sox are immediately three to four wins better, perhaps more, as a result of making this deal.

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