The Liriano signing today has me excited, and with Porcello seemingly still an option, I feel a sense of excitement that's leading to delusional thoughts. But hey, I'm a Bucs fan, what other hope can I have?
II have two questions on my mind.
First: Is there ANY chance we can make a run at Swisher?
Second: If we landed him, what does it mean THIS year?
The obvious reaction to the first question is thus - "No, he wants to play for a winner, and Cleveland offered, reportedly, 13 Mil/year for 4 years. Swisher seems bent on the Dodgers, although they haven't shown much interest, so I start to wonder. Not many contenders have much room in the outfield and he might not have many options. Is Cleveland any closer to winning than we are? Obviously they have deeper pockets, but we've shown a willingness to take some gambles recently, and it seems that trend could continue. With Martin and Burnett here, maybe Swisher could find something of value that wouldn't have been available superficially. While it's most likely impossible, do we think Swisher turns down 5 Years at 11 Mil? Of course that's a big if, but the F.O. seems to be making a transition into making this team a more legitimate contender.
The second question is even more interesting I think. Swisher gives us a power bat, albeit a declining one, that helps to sure up the middle of the line-up. He also give us another corner outfielding option and 1st base platoon-mate. Sure, he's not a lead-off bat, and we have to ask what value, if any, Snider has at that point, but all the same, Swisher provides an immediate up-grade across the board. This team, as currently projected, and the assumed mid-season promotions, seems like a possible 88-90 win team with Swisher, provided Pedro doesn't take any major steps backwards, Liriano can find the strike zone, and Wandy doesn't turn in to Jamie Moyer without the control. I see only two glaring weaknesses on that team, one competing in a still win-able NL Central. The first of course is the offensive black-hole that is SS, and the lack of a definite ace. Of course Martin won't be an offensive force, but he'll surely be an improvement over Hot-Rod.
Again, I'm sure it's entirely unlikely, but provided Neal stuns the world, would this team be a legitimate Central contender? I'd love to hear your thoughts.