Most of the big names have come and gone on the MLB free agent market, but there are still some good players out there.
Swisher is the best outfield bat on the market. As a result, he's been linked to numerous teams.
The Cleveland Indians are hot on the trail of the vivacious outfielder. Swisher is from Ohio, and the Indians have a standing offer out to him, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com:
Swisher hasnt signed. Has standing offer from CLE. Outfielder en route to another team's city for visit. More soon on MLB.com
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) December 18, 2012
Additionally, Buster Onley of ESPN says that the Indians might be the favorite to sign Swisher:
Not sure what situation Nick Swisher will want, but it does appear as if Cleveland could be in best position to sign him.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 7, 2012
If he does sign with Cleveland, Swisher could be receiving a deal for four years and $60 million, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN:
Indians hoping to sign Nick Swisher for 4yrs $48-$50m...but market shift has him looking for 4yrs $60m
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 7, 2012
The Mariners are also interested in Swisher's services. He would replace Ichiro, who ironically, is going to replace Swisher in New York.
However, it looks like Swisher is, alas, not interested in Seattle, according to Jon Heyman of CBS:
the swisher tour does not currently include the #mariners. get feeling they want to do protect that No. 12 draft pick
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 18, 2012
Michael Bourn is the other hot outfielder on the market, and is being courted by a number of teams. The Giants are one that could be interested, according to CBS. The Giants are looking at other outfielders as well.
If the Dodgers trade Andre Ethier, Bourn could be an option as a replacement, writes Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, but they would first have to find a trading partner for Ethier. The Dodgers would have to eat some of the contract, though.
Perhaps somewhat concerning for Bourn is that many MLB executives don't know what's going to happen with him. As Buster Onley noted,
Have heard this question many times from execs and agents: What's going to happen with Michael Bourn?
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 12, 2012
One logical destination would be the Texas Rangers, especially now that Josh Hamilton is gone. Jon Heyman reports that,
greinke going to dodgers might be good news for hamilton. #rangers might also look at bourn, sanchez, lohse too, tho
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 9, 2012
It would seem that Bourn's market will pick up once Swisher's status is determined.
Kyle Lohse is one of the better starting pitchers remaining on the market, and there are plenty of teams interested in his services.
One team is the Boston Red Sox, who are in dire need of starting pitching help. Jon Heyman reports that,
#redsox will now turn to starting pitcherrs. will look at everyone from anibal & lohse on down. seek value.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 12, 2012
Lohse would help the Sox, although he has seen most of his success in the National League. Still, the Red Sox would be very interested if Loshe would be willing to accept a three-year contract, reports Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com.
The Royals have interest in Loshe, who would help bolster a revamped pitching staff. However, as Danny Knobler reports, they would need to shed salary to make the finances work:
Royals likely can't afford Anibal or Lohse unless they trade some salary. They have stayed in touch with both, though.
— DKnobler (@DKnobler) December 5, 2012
The Angels clearly don't mind spending money, and they would be willing to dole out some cash to Lohse, as Jon Heyman reported.
Soriano is the best closer on the market, but he has not seen that much action.
The Tigers, who desperately need relief help, but it doesn't look like owner Mike Ilitch is willing to spend money for Soriano:
Tigers people still fairly certain that Mike Ilitch won't be talked into Soriano. Ilitch was driving force behind $80 mill for Anibal.
— DKnobler (@DKnobler) December 15, 2012
Soriano's agent, Scott Boras, has been in contact with the Giants about the closer, reports John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle But the Giants have a closer in Sergio Romo, and if anything, Soriano would serve as a set-up man.
The Dodgers might continue their free-spending ways and pony up for Soriano, despite the presence of Brandon League:
As we all search for the possible landing spot for Free Agent closer Rafael Soriano...don't eliminate the Dodgers just yet as a possibility
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 4, 2012
Still, no matter where Soriano ends up, Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated writes how it is was a mistake for Soriano to opt-out of a $14 million contract with the Yankees:
There is a saying closers like to promote that "not just anybody can close." That may be true -- some guys prefer lower leverage spots. But many pitchers can close. Over the past 10 seasons, 91 different players have posted 25 saves in a season. Ninety-one! It's not an especially rare commodity. The clubs are finding that out. And Soriano is finding out that a market correction is occurring. To get his big money, Soriano will have to re-set that market.