By Mike Brandyberry
According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News the Cleveland Indians and Nick Swisher have agreed to a four-year, $56 million contract, with a vesting option for a fifth year. If the fifth year is exercised, the contract would be worth a total of $70 million.
The 32-year old Swisher hit .272, with 24 home runs and 93 runs batted in last season with the New York Yankees. He is a career .256 hitter, with 209 home runs and 673 runs batted in, in nine seasons with Oakland, the Chicago White Sox and New York.
According to Feinsand, the fifth year vests based upon plate appearances in the 2016 season. According to Feinsand, “If he’s healthy, it should happen easily.” The deal is the fifth largest free agent contract given this winter behind Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, Anibal Sanchez and B.J. Upton.
Swisher was born in Columbus, Oh, before moving to Parkersburg, Wv as a child. He attended Ohio State University before becoming a professional and has made donations to the baseball and athletic department. The Buckeyes’ baseball stadium is named Nick Swisher Field. New Indians manager Terry Francona was managed by Swisher’s father, Steve, in the minor leagues in 1988 and has known Nick since he was a child.
Tuesday the Indians had Swisher in Cleveland to make their pitch to the star, including videos from Buckeye coaches past and present, and the Tribe’s lineup on the scoreboard with Swisher hitting cleanup. He received inquiries from at least six teams. The Rangers, Mariners, Red Sox and Orioles were among the other teams that had expressed interest in Swisher.
The Yankees will receive a second round draft pick as compensation for Swisher. New York offered Swisher a qualifying offer making him eligible for a first round draft if he signed elsewhere, but the Indians first round pick is protected because it is in the top 10.
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