As you read this, outfielder Nick Swisher is on a plane out of Cleveland after spending the day enjoying a nice little tour throughout the Progressive Field facilities.
MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports that Swisher met with Cleveland Indians brass this afternoon and was scheduled to leave town later in the afternoon. It was the second day that Swisher was in Cleveland as he reportedly had dinner last night with Indians President Mark Shapiro and other team personnel.
From all accounts, it appears as if the Indians have really intensified their pursuit of Swisher. For example, the team reportedly played a video message for Swisher on the scoreboard with names such as Ohio State coaches Thad Matta, Urban Meyer and Greg Beals appearing in an effort to encourage Swisher to “come home.”
As of now, reports are that there is a standing offer on the table for Swisher from the Indians, but it also still appears as if there are multiple suitors still pursuing the 32-year-old outfielder. No official numbers have been released yet in regard to the actual contract that was offered, but one has to suspect that it was at least for four years and $60 million.
The switch-hitting Swisher hit .272 with 24 homers, 93 RBI and .837 OPS in 148 games with the New York Yankees last season. His acquisition would certainly fill the gaping hole that was created in right field last week following the blockbuster trade involving Shin-Soo Choo and Trevor Bauer.
While Swisher is not signed to a deal and there is no indication that he is leaning toward Cleveland, there is one potential positive factor to consider when moving forward. The Indianswere able to give their pitch before any other teams. Swisher will likely visit a few Major League cities before making any decision, but the Indians were first, which may mean that they’re the first team he thinks of before ultimately decides what to do.
At the same time though, other teams now have an opportunity to outdo the Indians, so it could be somewhat of a double-edged sword.
Also, there is no telling how Swisher received the Indians’ message. The team made it clear that they desperately want his services, but that’s the problem: was the team’s message perhaps too desperate? Most players enjoy having their egos rubbed however, and Swisher is likely no different.
The Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants and Baltimore Orioles have all been linked to the career .256/.361/.467 hitter, so the competition is quite steep. These next few days will be eventful. Hopefully the end result is Swisher wearing a Cleveland Indians uniform.
From the very beginning, it has appeared as if the Indians have been Swisher’s most aggressive suitor, and today’s reports seem to further prove that point.