01/03/2008 2:05 PM ET
White Sox acquire outfielder Nick Swisher from Athletics in exchange for three Minor Leaguers
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox have acquired switch-hitting outfielder Nick Swisher from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for three minor league players, pitcher Gio Gonzalez, pitcher Fautino De Los Santos and outfielder Ryan Sweeney. The trade was announced Thursday afternoon by Ken Williams, White Sox general manager and senior vice president.
Swisher, 27, batted .262 (141-539) with 22 home runs and 78 RBI in 150 games for the Athletics in 2007, setting career-bests for batting average, on-base percentage (.381), walks (100), doubles (36) and stolen bases (three).
"Nick is a quality switch hitter who consistently gets on base, hits for power and drives in runs," Williams said. "He gives Ozzie Guillen offensive flexibility with his ability to hit in a number of spots up and down the batting order, and his athleticism allows him to play any outfield position or first base. Nick brings to the ballpark a mix of hard-nosed play, energy and a commitment to winning, and he brings it each and every day. He's a great addition to our team and clubhouse."
The 6-foot, 215-pound Swisher is signed through the 2011 season with a club option for 2012.
Swisher ranked sixth in the American League in walks in 2007 and was seventh in pitches seen per plate appearance (4.25). His .458 on-base percentage against left-handed pitchers ranked third in the league, and he batted .291 against left-handed pitching. Swisher's 22 home runs were second-highest in the AL for switch hitters, and he has now topped 20 home runs in three consecutive seasons.
Swisher's father, Steve, was selected by the White Sox in the first round of the 1973 draft and spent nine seasons in the major leagues as a catcher with the Cubs (1974-77), St. Louis (19878-80) and San Diego (1981-82).
Over four seasons with the Athletics (2004-07), Swisher batted .251 (406-1,617) with a .361 on-base percentage, 80 home runs and 255 RBI. He set career highs with 35 home runs and 95 RBI in 2006, and his batting average and walk totals both have risen each of the past two seasons. His 197 combined walks in 2006-07 rank fourth in the AL. Swisher played all three outfield positions and first base with Oakland, appearing in a career-high 57 games in center field in 2007.
Gonzalez, 22, went 9-7 with a 3.18 ERA in 27 games (all starts) at Class AA Birmingham in 2007. Over four minor-league seasons, the left-hander has gone 31-28 with a 3.49 ERA (191 ER/492.1 IP). Originally drafted by the White Sox in 2004, Gonzalez was included in a trade with Philadelphia for Jim Thome in November 2005. He was traded back to the White Sox in a deal involving Freddy Garcia in December 2006.
De Los Santos, 21, was a combined 10-5 with a 2.65 ERA in 26 games (20 starts) at Class A Kannapolis and Class A Winston-Salem in 2007.
Sweeney, 22, batted .270 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI in 105 games at Class AAA Charlotte in 2007. The left-handed hitter also batted .200 (9-45) with one home run and five RBI in 15 games with the White Sox last season. In five minor-league seasons, Sweeney is a career .289 (547-1,891) hitter with 33 home runs and 239 RBI. He has hit .213 (17-80) with one home run and 10 RBI in 33 major-league games with the Sox (2006-07).