• Jolly Swish Nick Heads To Tribe Town

    Posted by on December 23rd, 2012 · Comments (14)

    Via Mark Feinsand -

    Nick Swisher is officially a former Yankee.

    Swisher agreed to terms on a four-year, $56 million contract with the Indians late Saturday night, the Daily News has learned. The deal includes an easily-attainable $14 million vesting option for a fifth year based on plate appearances that could bring the total value of the contract to $70 million through the 2017 season.

    The 32-year-old outfielder had received interest from no less than a half-dozen teams, but the Indians made the strongest push for Swisher’s services. The Rangers, Mariners, Red Sox and Orioles were among the other teams that had expressed interest in Swisher.

    Swisher’s $56 million deal is the fifth-largest contract signed this winter, and the third-biggest for a position player. Josh Hamilton, 31, inked a five-year, $125 million deal with the Angels while 28-year-old B.J. Upton signed a five-year, $75 million pact with the Braves.

    The only other deals larger than Swisher’s this offseason were Zack Greinke’s six-year, $147 million deal with the Angels and Anibal Sanchez’s five-year, $80 million contract with the Tigers.

    The Tribe gave Swisher and his wife, JoAnna, the red-carpet treatment during a visit to Cleveland last week, making it known how badly they wanted him in an Indians uniform.

    Swisher grew up in a West Virginia town only 14 miles from Ohio and attended Ohio State, so the Indians’ pitch centered around his potential homecoming.

    Former Buckeyes head football coach Jim Tressel helped recruit Swisher during a lunch, while current Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer, basketball coach Thad Matta and baseball coach Greg Beals each recorded personal messages to Swisher that were played on the Progressive Field scoreboard.

    Swisher’s history with new Indians manager Terry Francona played a key role in the decision. Francona, who in 1988 was managed in the minor leagues by Swisher’s father, Steve, has known Swisher since he was a child. Francona was very involved in the Indians’ recruitment of Swisher last week.

    Maybe “The Lish!” will wear #34 in Cleveland, in honor of Joe Charboneau? Of course, he would have to buy it from Zach McAllister…but he can afford it now.

    Comments on Jolly Swish Nick Heads To Tribe Town

    1. Evan3457
      December 23rd, 2012 | 11:17 am

      Looks like Nick made out OK with his free agency. Not nearly as well as he talked about last year, but still, pretty good, all things considered.

      Except maybe that the Indians aren’t good, and aren’t likely to be good anytime soon.

    2. Garcia
      December 23rd, 2012 | 11:46 am

      Good for Nick. He was a really good Yankee, he was part of the 2009 championship team, and I feel his stay here was the right amount of time.

      I have nothing but positive to say about Nick’s time with the Yanks.

    3. Garcia
      December 23rd, 2012 | 11:46 am

      *positive things

    4. December 23rd, 2012 | 12:02 pm

      Gotta think this is the first time a free agent, at his peak, left the Yankees to go sign with the Indians. Sign of the times…

    5. Raf
      December 23rd, 2012 | 12:56 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Gotta think this is the first time a free agent, at his peak, left the Yankees to go sign with the Indians. Sign of the times…

      Part of it seems to be motivated by Swisher’s Ohio roots, as well as a history with Terry Francona.

      I’m surprised he signed with the Indians, what with the Red Sox, O’s and M’s showing interest.

    6. Raf
      December 23rd, 2012 | 1:11 pm

      Looks like Ibanez is going back to the M’s. Not sure how he fits out there, he can’t really play the field and I was under the impression that Montero was to be DH’ing.

    7. #15
      December 23rd, 2012 | 1:17 pm

      I think Swisher gave good effort all the time and I think if the Yankees had been remotely interested he’d have stayed for less money. But no way, now how, under any circumstances would I have been on board with offering this kind of deal. Even 1/2 the contract (2/23 with a 3rd vest) would have been too much. I doubt he finishes the contract as an Indian. He’ll get moved at some point and the Tribe will eat a chunk of this. At the end of the day, very few fans decide to go to the ballpark primarily to watch Swish play. He’s a good extra cog in a place where he doesn’t need to be the guy.

      Good news for Swish is that he won’t have to grip it in the playoffs anymore. He’ll be watching on TV.

    8. Evan3457
      December 23rd, 2012 | 1:28 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Gotta think this is the first time a free agent, at his peak, left the Yankees to go sign with the Indians. Sign of the times…

      1. Swisher is not at his peak. He is 32, going on 33, and is therefore post-peak.
      2. Wait, did you WANT the Yanks to re-sign Swisher? I thought you couldn’t wait to get rid of him…

    9. Evan3457
      December 23rd, 2012 | 1:30 pm

      Garcia wrote:

      Good for Nick. He was a really good Yankee, he was part of the 2009 championship team, and I feel his stay here was the right amount of time.
      I have nothing but positive to say about Nick’s time with the Yanks.

      Well, he was good in the regular season, but I find it hard to say anything positive about his post-season work.

    10. 77yankees
      December 23rd, 2012 | 1:45 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Except maybe that the Indians aren’t good, and aren’t likely to be good anytime soon.

      With the Indians adding whiff mavens Swisher, Mark Reynolds, & Drew Stubbs, you think Verlander, Scherzer, Shields, Sale, & Peavy are salivating to pad their K totals facing this lineup 5x-6x a year?

    11. December 23rd, 2012 | 2:42 pm

      Now that Swisher is gone, who will be the first current Yankees player to call him out for being a red light whore during his time in New York?

    12. Garcia
      December 23rd, 2012 | 2:44 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      He was awful in the post-season, but when you look at the overall ROI then it becomes quite easy to say a lot of positive things about Swish — sans the post-season.

      Fangraphs has his average value at ~$16.5M over the last 4 years, the Yanks paid him on average ~$8M for the four years of service. I think that merits a lot of compliments in Swisher’s direction, I don’t think that’s hyperbole.

      If you’re purely looking at the post-season then Swish was an absolute bum. I for one can’t heavily weigh his post-season production as being representative of his overall value. Nevertheless, I am so glad Swish is gone because I think his time was up…it would not have been wise to pay him into his mid-30s. Hence why I have nothing but positive things to say about him.

      It’s like if Michael Jackson would have died when his hair caught on fire filming that pepsi commercial. If he would have died then, he would have gone down as the best artist on the planet, and we would have all been left to wonder what great music he would have created if he had lived. That didn’t happen. He lived, his memory was greatly soiled and it was all his own doing.

      Swish never got the chance to soil his memory as a Yankee. He left while we still remember him (mostly) positively. We (Yankee fans) will never be witness to what happens after Swish’s hair catches on “fire” — that’s now the Indians problem.

    13. MJ Recanati
      December 24th, 2012 | 2:46 pm

      @ Garcia:
      I’m with you 100% on Swisher. I appreciated his effort as a Yankee, there were lots of fun times and good memories, and now he’s moved on to a team that wants to give him the payday he couldn’t get here.

      Good luck to him, I’m happy he got the big bucks he was looking for.

    14. MJ Recanati
      December 24th, 2012 | 2:47 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Now that Swisher is gone, who will be the first current Yankees player to call him out for being a red light whore during his time in New York?

      Negativity and criticism again? We get it, you hated Swisher (along with about half of the rest of the roster). Jeez, don’t be like a Red Sox fan and trash a good player on the way out. No reason to.

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