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The Swisher trade

I leave for a couple of hours to do a deposition, come back, and discover another big A.L. West trade has gone down...

Nick Swisher is now a White Sock, being dealt to Chicago by the A's for Gio Gonzalez, Fautino de los Santos, and Ryan Sweeney.

According to Cot's, Swisher is under contract for $3.5 million in 2008, $5.3 million in 2009, $6.75 million in 2010, and $9 million for 2011, with a $10.25 million club option for 2012. 2011 would have been his first free agent year.

I'm sure folks here know about Swisher...he is what he is, a solidly very good switch-hitting corner outfielder who is under control (if the option is exercised) through his age 31 season. He's not a star, but given his age, production, contract status and salary, he's a very valuable commodity.

And the package the ChiSox gave up reflects that...Kevin Goldstein had de los Santos and Gonzalez #1 and #2 on his ChiSox list, with Sweeney #8, and the A's also got the #4 ChiSox prospect, Chris Carter, in the Dan Haren deal.

John Sickels has Gonzalez and de los Santos #1 and #2 on the ChiSox list, and #2 and #3 on the A's list, with Sweeney coming in at #5 (#12 on the Oakland list).

Sitting here looking at this, I'm starting to think the A's got just about as much for Swisher as they did for Haren. The two Gonzalez are each great prospects, and I seem like Chris Carter more than most, but I'm baffled by the love shown Brett Anderson, a 19 year old finesse lefty pitcher who apparently is built almost as badly as me, and the rest of the Arizona prospects are just guys.

With the 2 Gonzalezes, de los Santos, and Carter, the A's seem to have gotten four guys who have star potential, and the Oakland system had been really weak in those sorts of big-upside types. They are doing a good job of re-stocking.

Of course, this also means that the Rangers chances of finishing out of the cellar in the A.L. West just increased significantly.

As for Chicago, I don't understand what they are doing...they won 72 games last season (which matched their Pythagorean projection), finished last in the A.L. in runs, finished 12th in the A.L. in ERA, and have been making a bunch of moves this offseason suggesting that they believe that they are a team on the cusp that needs a couple of pieces to push them over the top.

Quentin and Swisher are, at least, guys with long-term value, and I think the Quentin trade is defensible...but the Swisher deal seems shaky, to me...