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Bronx, N.Y. - Tuesday, July 26, 2011. Nick (Credit: David Pokress)

Bronx, N.Y. - Tuesday, July 26, 2011. Nick Swisher gets goofy with the fans before the game. N.Y. Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by David Pokress)

Six degrees of Nick Swisher

After the 2008 season, Yankees GM Brian Cashman traded utilityman Wilson Betemit for outfielder Nick Swisher, arguably one of his best trades. But the path for the Yankees to add Nick Swisher started way back in 1997. Here's that journey. Compiled by Matt Saur

FIRST DEGREE: On May 29, 1997, the Yankees
(Credit: AP )

FIRST DEGREE: On May 29, 1997, the Yankees acquired Hideki Irabu as part of a previous deal from the month before with the San Diego Padres that included a player to be named later

SECOND DEGREE: After a disappointing three seasons with
(Credit: AP)

SECOND DEGREE: After a disappointing three seasons with the Yankees, Irabu was shipped to the Expos for Jake Westbrook and players to be named later on Dec. 22, 1999. Those two players turned out to be Ted Lilly (March 17, 2000), a good left-handed starter still in the majors, and Christian Parker (March 22, 2000), who gave up seven runs in three innings for the Yankees in his only pro game.

THIRD DEGREE: In 2000, the Yankees needed offense,
(Credit: NEWSDAY/Audrey C. Tiernan)

THIRD DEGREE: In 2000, the Yankees needed offense, so on June 29, they traded Jake Westbrook, Ricky Ledee and Zach Day to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder David Justice.

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FOURTH DEGREE: After the 2001 season, Scott Brosius
(Credit: NEWSDAY/PAUL J. BERESWILL)

FOURTH DEGREE: After the 2001 season, Scott Brosius retired, leaving a void at third base. On Dec. 7, 2001, GM Brian Cashman dealt David Justice to the Mets for Robin Ventura. Ventura was coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons, but earned an All-Star trip with the Yankees in 2002. He struggled in 2003, and the Yankees traded for Aaron Boone on July 31.

FIFTH DEGREE: With Aaron Boone in the fold,
(Credit: NEWSDAY/Paul J. Bereswill)

FIFTH DEGREE: With Aaron Boone in the fold, the Yankees traded Ventura at the deadline to the Dodgers for Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor.

SIXTH DEGREE: At the 2007 trade deadline, the
(Credit: NEWSDAY/Paul J. Bereswill)

SIXTH DEGREE: At the 2007 trade deadline, the Yankees added utility man Wilson Betemit from the Dodgers in exchange for Scott Proctor. And on Nov. 13 2008, Betemit and a pair of minor-leaguers (Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez) were traded to the Chicago White Sox for Nick Swisher and Kanekoa Texeira. Swisher quickly became a fan favorite in 2009 with his fun demeanor and powerful swing.

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