Nick Swisher, formerly of the New York Yankees, has inked a four-year deal with the Cleveland Indians.
The right fielder/first baseman will earn $56 million over the life of the contract, with a $14 million vesting option for the 2017 season.
Swisher, 32, and the Indians came to terms late last night, according to the New York Daily News, which reports that about six teams were bidding for Swisher’s services and Cleveland in particular rolled out the red carpet for the free agent and his wife JoAnna Garcia Swisher.
The Swishers announced last month that they are expecting their first child.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona, who also played a big role in the recruitment process, is a friend of the Swisher family, having known both Nick since he was a child as well as Nick’s dad, former MLB player Steve Swisher. Nick Swisher was born in Ohio and grew up in West Virginia.
The Daily News adds that “Swisher’s $56 million deal is the fifth-largest contract signed this winter and the third-biggest for a position player.”
According ESPN, “[Swisher] would immediately fill a hole in right field for Cleveland, which traded Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati this month and has been trying to improve a team that collapsed in August and finished 68-94.”
Swisher is a career .256 batter as a switch hitter with 259 home runs and 673 RBI. Last season, his fourth with the Yankees, he hit .272 with 24 HRs and 93 RBI. Swisher made his MLB debut with the Oakland Athletics in 2004; the A’s traded him to the Chicago White Sox in 2008 and after the season ended he was again traded to the Yankees.
Wow! What a crazy few weeks. Hey Cleveland! Are you ready? Because I’m coming home! #RollTribe
— Nick Swisher (@NickSwisher) December 23, 2012
If you’ve seen Swisher on TV, you’ve noticed his ritual of looking up into the sky before each pitch reportedly to honor his deceased grandparents who helped raised him.
Do you think the Indians overpaid for Nick Swisher?
[Image credit: Keith Allison]