On-Base Perception

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Russell Martin and Nick Swisher vs. the Yankees

Nick Swisher #33 and Russell Martin #55 of

Nick Swisher #33 and Russell Martin #55 of the New York Yankees look on during the second game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. (June 22, 2011) (Credit: Getty Images)

Of all the free agent decisions the Yankees made prior to the 2013 season, two are quite notable as the playoffs arrive: letting Nick Swisher and Russell Martin walk.

Swisher went on to sign a four-year, $56 million deal with the Indians and Martin inked a two-year, $15 million contract with the Pirates. Both players' teams made the playoffs as a Wild Card, with Martin slamming two home runs for the Pirates on Tuesday to help Pittsburgh advance to the Division Series.

The Yankees, meanwhile, missed out on the playoffs. And the replacements for Martin and Swisher failed to replicate the departed Yankees' sucess.

Martin was replaced by a cavalcade of catchers, headed by Chris Stewart and Austin Romine but also comprising J.R. Murphy and Francisco Cervelli.

  Russell Martin Yankees catchers
Plate appearances 506 576
Average .226 .213
On-base percentage .327 .287
Slugging percentage .377 .298
Home runs 15 8
RBIs 55 44
Runs 51 58
Stolen bases 9 5
WAR 4.1 0.9

Swisher was jettisoned largely in favor of Ichiro Suzuki, though Thomas Neal, Brennan Boesch and Ben Francisco all saw some time in right field during the season as well.

  Nick Swisher Yankees right fielders
Plate appearances 634 671
Average .246 .251
On-base percentage .341 .292
Slugging percentage .423 .343
Home runs 22 11
RBIS 63 44
Runs 74 68
Stolen bases 1 20
WAR 2.4 0.2

Using Fangraphs' Wins Above Replacement measurement, Swisher and Martin would have added more than five additional wins to the Yankees. Considering the Yankees finished 6.5 games out of the Wild Card, that extra boost could have been a difference maker.

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