Trade and FA

Mitch To Ditch Swans?


Player Name: Tom Mitchell

Current Club: Sydney

Potential Clubs: Hawthorn has been linked to Mitchell for most of the year, with the rumours getting stronger throughout the final month of the season. The Hawks have a number of players they want to land, however, which brings Carlton into the mix. Carlton have been linked to Mitchell in previous trade periods, and have expressed their interest in the young midfielder before. Recently, Chris Judd mentioned that Mitchell would also fit in well at the Eagles, bringing them into the conversation.

The Original Price: The Swans took Mitchell with Pick 21 in the 2011 National Draft as a father/son selection, which was a bit of a steal given his talents. He didn’t make his debut until midway through 2013, when he featured as a substitute. In his first full game at AFL level, Mitchell had 31 disposals and 10 tackles against Adelaide with 72% time-on-ground

The Good: Tom Mitchell just knows how to find the footy. He has averaged 27 and 28 disposals in 2015 and 2016 respectively, and has shown great consistency in his game. Mitchell’s tackling game is excellent too, and it really steps up in games where he can’t find the ball as easily. What’s underrated about his game is that he isn’t a true inside midfielder. His run and spread from the contest is good, and he finds far more uncontested ball than he is given credit for. Mitchell’s ability to send the ball inside 50 and be one of the club’s leaders for goal assists over the past two seasons is a testament to his balanced game.

The Bad: Mitchell’s kicking is still an issue, which is possibly why we have seen his kick-to-handball ratio decrease with every season he has played. If he can’t improve his kicking, he needs to have a greater influence with his clearances. He still averages over four clearances a game, and perhaps this is purely because Sydney have an incredible midfield, but that number needs to increase.

What his club wants: The Swans will want an early first-round draft pick to part with Mitchell. At 23 years of age, he is already a very good midfielder and could become elite over the next couple of seasons, and the club will want to be fairly compensated for that.

What he’s worth: Mitchell is out of contract at the end of 2016, and that needs to be taken into account. He isn’t a particularly good user, but a full-time inside midfield gig could turn him into an elite midfielder. At the moment, he is worth a late first-round pick.

What we’d pay: Pick 17-23

Possible Trade Scenarios:

  1. Hawthorn trades its 2017 first round selection to Sydney for Tom Mitchell
  2. West Coast trades pick 12 and pick 30 to Sydney for Tom Mitchell and pick 17/18
  3. Carlton trades its 2017 first-round selection to Sydney for Tom Mitchell and pick 35/36

The Verdict: If Mitchell leaves the Swans, one would imagine he will find his way to Hawthorn. Carlton will need to complete its other trades before addressing the Mitchell issue, so any potential trade is hard to quantify, while the Eagles would have to be considered outsiders at best. Of course, Mitchell may well stay in Sydney.

Star Rating: 4/5

Tom Mitchell is a very good player and any team will improve if they bring him in. The Swans will be hoping he chooses to stay.



  1. Jonny Rocket

    September 28, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    So the article states both that Swans will want an early first round, and that Mitchell is worth a late first round.(Seriously?)

    Hawthorn is not going to have a single figure first round pick so as far as I’m concerned, they can GTFO if they are offering only that. Breust could be a 1 for 1 option. A straight swap for a pick would have to be 1-9 IMHO, or a pretty darn good readymade player + a late first round

    • Matthew James

      Matthew James

      September 29, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Hey Jonny, what a club wants for a player and what we’ve assessed them as being worth won’t always be the same, that’s to be expected.

      Appreciate your thoughts, you’re not the only one who has valued him in that top-10 range, we just haven’t seen him be a damaging enough player at this point in his career to be worth that. His graph is trending up, sure, but he’s still outside the best 30 midfielders in the league (see, so that’s partially why we’re lower than you.

      • Jonny Rocket

        September 29, 2016 at 1:18 pm

        Yeah, understood Matthew. I do certainly appreciate the articles and the work that goes into them, but ratings are one thing, and the “eye test” (great terminology borrowed from ice hockey which has discussion heavily influenced by so called advanced stats) is another altogether. Mitchell’s ability in finals for instance suggest his rating should be higher.

        Also purely from a “would I as a Swans supporter be happy with a straight swap for….” point of view, here is a list of midfielders from that same list who are rated above Mitchell to which my answer is a resounding NO:

        Armitage, Cunnington, Viney, Jones, Miles, Hill.

        Opinion only of course, thanks for the discussion

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