The New York Yankees acquired a 1B signed through 2011 in exchange for a utility infielder and two minor minor league pitching prospects. The addition of 1B Nick Swisher sends two signals. The first is obvious while the second is not quite so.
The obvious signal is being sent to Scott Boras and his stud 1B free agent, Mark Teixeira. With Nick Swisher on board the Yankees will not be serious contenders for the services of Teixeira. For Yankees fans, the additon of a 1B also sends the message that C Jorge Posada looks like he'll be able to catch in 2009. After that, OF/DHs Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui will no longer block a Posada move to DH.
The less obvious signal ties into Joel Sherman's article in yesterday's NY Post. He reported the Yankees were readying a preemptive offer to SP C.C. Sabathia that will completely demoralize any other potential suitors - something north of the record-setting deal given to Johann Santana last winter. If teams know the Yankees will pay $150MM, how many other teams will even try to vie for Sabathia?
The acquistion of 1B Nick Swisher gives credence to Sherman's report that the Yankees will blow away Sabathia with an offer no mildy-union-listening player could ignore. By using all their resources to land Sabathia rather than hoping to get Sabathia and Teixeira for $120 MM each, the team can focus on signing a second-tier free agent pitcher like Derek Lowe or Oliver Perez to flesh out a formidable rotation of C.C. Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, Lowe/Perez and Phil Hughes.
Now if the Yankees can pry away a Carlos Gomez-esque CF to roam between LF and RF....