Baseball Digest Daily is reporting that the A’s have traded Nick Swisher to the White Sox for Gio Gonzalez, Fautino De Los Santos, and Ryan Sweeney. I’d heard about the Sweeney part but hadn’t been able to confirm it. This is a fascinating trade – let’s discuss.
I have to imagine the White Sox plan to use Swisher as their center fielder for the next couple of years; he did play 59 games there in ’07. Kenny Williams stuck to his word about adding OBP to his team, picking up Swisher and Carlos Quentin to fill out his outfield. Swisher, 27, is signed at a very reasonable price: $3.5MM in ’08, $5.3MM in ’09, $6.75MM in ’10, $9MM in ’11, and a $10.25MM club option for ’12 with a $1MM buyout. The option gets a $1.75MM bump if Swisher is top five for the MVP voting during the contract. He has limited no-trade protection for 2011-12.
The White Sox paid a massive price to get their man, however. Pitchers De Los Santos and Gonzalez were their two best prospects, according to Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein. De Los Santos is said to have a huge ceiling, whereas Gio is a solid lefty who’s nearly big-league ready. Goldstein ranked Sweeney eighth on the team, but projects him as more of a fourth-outfielder type (he was once very highly regarded though).
If it wasn’t obvious with the Dan Haren trade, the A’s are in full-fledged rebuilding mode. Joe Blanton, Huston Street, and Mark Ellis could be next to go.