Posted on July 3, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
Nick Swisher is putting his family ahead of a possible return to the big leagues, at least for now. Swisher was playing with the triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, hopeful to get another chance with the Bronx Bombers this season after being released by the Atlanta Braves late in spring training. However, he has opted out of his contract to spend more time with his family after the recent birth of his second child.
On Saturday, Swisher announced on his Facebook page that he was taking the rest of the year off after his wife, JoAnna, gave birth to the couple’s second daughter, Sailor Stevie, earlier this week. However, Swisher said that he is not retiring. “After the birth of my second child, I’ve decided to take a step back and spend the rest of this season full time with my wife and two daughters,” Swisher wrote. “Make no mistake, I am not hanging it up. I love this game with the same amount of passion that I had as a rookie 12 years ago.”
Swisher recently went on the temporarily inactive list to be with his wife when she had the baby. He last played on June 27. In 55 games at triple-A this year, Swisher was hitting .255 with seven home runs.
“I want to thank the Yankees for giving me the opportunity to return to the organization that I love so much and wish them nothing but success for the rest of 2016,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “Despite not being at the ballpark every day, I will continue to train on a daily basis and evaluate my options for next season at the appropriate time.”
With Mark Teixeira struggling with his health and struggling at the plate this season, the Yankees signed Swisher to a minor-league deal, believing they may need his services at some point this season, especially with Greg Bird missing all of 2016 with an injury. However, even with Teixeira missing so much time this season, the Yankees have given time at first base to Dustin Ackley, Rob Refsnyder, Austine Romine, Chris Parmelee, and even signed Ike Davis for a short period, rather than calling up Swisher.
Still, Joe Girardi seemed understandable yet a little disappointed when asked about Swisher’s decision. “I don’t think we would have signed him if we didn’t want to take a look at him,” Girardi said. “We just felt some guys were ahead of him at the time. He was never called and I respect what he did. He had another baby and he’ll enjoy that.”
What the future holds for Swisher as a baseball player remains uncertain, but it’s hard to envision him walking away from the game without taking at least one more crack at returning to the big leagues, despite the fact that he’ll sit out the rest of the 2016 season. Of course, after the way he’s performed over the last couple of years, it’s hard to picture too many teams lining up to give him that chance.