Nick Swisher is officially off the market.
The former New York Yankees right fielder will be returning home to play baseball in 2013.
Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News broke the news that Swisher had signed a four-year, $56 million deal with the Cleveland Indians:
BREAKING: Nick Swisher has agreed to a four-year, $56 million deal with the Indians. Vesting $14M option for a 5th year could make it $70M.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 23, 2012
There is a vesting option for a fifth season that could make the deal worth as much as $70 million.
Swisher was one of the more popular players over the last four years for his cheerful and free-spirited personality, but fans started to get tired of him due to his poor postseason numbers.
The 32-year-old hit .272 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI with the Yankees in 2012, but a lot of people expected him to hit free agency after the season and not return to the Bronx.
During the summer, Swisher felt that he could land a contract similar to Jayson Werth with the Nationals, which was around the time that many felt Swisher's days in New York were numbered.
Now, Swisher joins a team that is going through a transition under new manager Terry Francona.
The team just traded top hitting outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, but brought in Drew Stubbs from the Reds in that deal, along with top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer. The Indians also signed Mark Reynolds from the Baltimore Orioles.
Swisher didn't get the seven-year, $126 million deal that Werth got two winters ago in Washington. Nobody was going to give him that, even in a winter of inflated contracts. But for $14 million, he got a nice payday from a team that could use a consistent hitter in its lineup, which is what Swisher has been.
He's a constant 20 home run and 80 RBI guy who can hit .280. Plus, he can play first base if needed, along with being a DH when he needs a rest from the outfield.
But the question is: How will he do away from a Yankees lineup that had very good hitters giving him protection?
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.
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