Originally written December 23, 2012 on hardballchat.com:
The Cleveland Indians signed free agent outfielder Nick Swisher to a four year contract worth $56 million, with a vesting option that should all but certainly make the deal a five year tenure worth nearly $70 million in the long run. They can thank the Boston Red Sox for not wanting to help out the New York Yankees in any way that led to the Indians eventually winding up with Swisher. Boston had a lot of interest in Swisher. He is exactly the type of player who the Red Sox would have loved to add to their clubhouse, especially after seeing just how bad things were over the past two seasons in Boston. Swisher could have brought a positive attitude to a dugout full of egomaniacs and divas. Of course, if the Red Sox were to sign Swisher, that would mean that they would have to give a Christmas present to the Yankees in the form of a high second round draft pick as compensation, as New York had offered Swisher salary arbitration for the 2013 MLB season. Apparently, that was enough to turn off Boston in the end. Swisher would have fit in as a solid starting right fielder with either Boston or Cleveland. He had started the past four seasons in New York, but the Yankees made no effort to re-sign Swisher after a poor postseason performance in 2012. The writing was on the wall for quite some time that 2012 would be the final season for Swisher in pinstripes, as New York continues to work on lowering its payroll by the start of the 2014 season. Signing the 32-year-old Swisher to a three or four year deal was not going to help accomplish that goal. The Red Sox have signed Shane Victorino, but lost Cody Ross on Saturday to the Arizona Diamondbacks. They still have Victorino slotted to play right field with Jacoby Ellsbury in center, but they were still interested in bringing in Swisher to help out in numerous areas. But it is the Indians who always made the most sense, at least in my opinion. Cleveland offered Victorino a four year contract, but he turned it down to accept a three year deal with Boston. The Indians may not be as close to competing for a playoff berth in 2013 as Boston, but they may not be as far off as you think either. Terry Francona would not have accepted the manager’s job with the Indians if he did not believe that the team was committed to winning. Having traded Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland had an immediate vacancy in right field. With that deal landing them some top young prospects, it made the Indians a contender in the future. Having already signed Mark Reynolds to add some pop to a lineup that is in a fairly open division was going to help. Adding Swisher to a young team on the way up with a bright future is a very positive step forward for the Indians. The home town kid comes home.   The post MLB Rumors: Nick Swisher Signs With Cleveland Indians After Boston Red Sox Decide To Not Help New York Yankees appeared first on Hardball Chat Baseball Blog.
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