Teixeira's Addition Will Mean a Yankee Subtraction

If you're a glass is half-empty type who likes to see the dark lining in silver clouds, Mark Teixeira's acquisition did create a problem for the Yankees. It moved Nick Swisher from first base to the outfield, exacerbating a logjam of corner outfielders that already included Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Xavier Nady.

There are worse problems to have, namely that collection of players without Teixeira, but it is something Brian Cashman will have to remedy. Damon's ability to get on base fills a need at the top of the Yankee lineup and Matsui's got a full no-trade clause to go along with a balky knee, which means neither of them is likely to be fitted for a new uniform. That leaves Nady and Swisher for the trade market.

The Yanks would prefer to deal Nady, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff. That makes sense. Coming off a strong 2008, he's about to get a big salary bump in arbitration that will have him making more than Swisher. He's also a free agent after the season, while Swisher has two more years left. The money on that deal is reasonable if Swisher rebounds offensively, especially when you take into account that he can play all outfield positions and first base. Finally, Swisher's a switch-hitter while Nady only bats from the right side.

That's probably why there are more teams interested in trading for Swisher, according to Davidoff. The Yankees have to do something to clear up space on the roster, and their choice may boil down to trading Nady for mediocre prospects or dealing Swisher for better ones. If those are your options, why make any trade at all?

If you believed the pre-Teixeira signing scuttlebutt about cutting payroll, which they've done even if they kept both Nady and Swisher, then the Yankees need to do some pruning before the season gets under way. That makes dealing Nady, who will make more than Swisher, a better option, even if the Yankee return is less than satisfying.

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