Mariners Insider

Cleveland makes a hard sell to Nick Swisher (updated 6:14 p.m.)

Post by Ryan Divish on Dec. 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm with 6 Comments »
December 18, 2012 6:21 pm

 

Update (6:14 p.m) – Jon Heyman tweeted that Swisher will not meet with the Mariners on his free agent tour.  A source within the Mariners confirmed that they have stopped pursuing Swisher. It didn’t sound as though Swisher was ever really serious about signing with Seattle.

The Cleveland Indians met with outfielder Nick Swisher on Tuesday and pulled out all the stops while wooing the free agent switch-hitter. They even enlisted the help of a person who is familiar with recruiting. Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel ate lunch with Swisher and others at progressive field.

From the AP story …

Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was among a group who had lunch on Tuesday at Progressive Field with Swisher, who is considering a multiyear contract offer from the Indians. Swisher would immediately fill a hole in right field for Cleveland, which traded Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati last week and has been trying to improve a team that collapsed in August and finished 68-94.

The 32-year-old Swisher, who spent the past four seasons with the New York Yankees, arrived in Cleveland on Tuesday night and went to dinner with new manager Terry Francona, team president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti. Last week, Antonetti said he intended to add a ”corner” outfielder and the Indians are pulling out all the stops to add Swisher.

He and his wife, actress JoAnna Garcia, who is expecting the couple’s first child in May, arrived at Progressive Field at 10:15 a.m. and toured the club’s family room. They were shown a suite and the team’s clubhouse before the Indians tugged at Swisher’s Ohio State connections to convince him Cleveland should be his next baseball home. Swisher played baseball for the Buckeyes.

The Indians played a video on their scoreboard that featured current Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and basketball coach Thad Matta, who encouraged Swisher to join the Indians. Swisher was moved by the gesture and didn’t expect to see Tressel at lunch in the stadium’s Terrace Club.

Don’t underestimate Swisher’s ties to Ohio. He was born and raised in Columbus and played at Ohio State. Just look at the picture above.

Sources within the Mariners said they don’t plan to meet with any free agents this week and Jon Heyman of CBS recently tweeted that Swisher would not be making a free agent visit to Seattle. The other likely destinations are Texas and Philadelphia.

Why not Seattle? Well, Swisher has seemed to be lukewarm on going to the Mariners from the beginning. Seattle has plenty of money to spend, but Texas has just as much if not more.

Cleveland is supposedly offering a 4-year, $50 million contract, which would be underpaying. Both Texas and Seattle could go higher. Fangraphs rates Swisher’s value at $17 million per season. Would a five year deal make him look elsewhere? Perhaps. Or a four-year, $75 million might be enough to change his mind.

I’m not sure what the Mariners’ interest level is on Swisher.  I know they’ve inquired about him, but again, he may not have any interest in coming here.

Heyman mentioned that the Mariners might not want to part with the No. 12 pick in next year’s draft. But in previous conversations, he seemed resolute to the fact that he would lose that pick if he signed a top free agent. He knows the team needs help now.

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  1. bbnate420 says:

    Not sure why he’d come here instead of Texas if the money is comparable. Better team, ballpark, and lineup around him. Maybe they can get someone here without severely overpaying if moving the fences makes a significant difference? If so, it would’ve been nice if they would’ve done it a few years ago like some of us were clamoring for.

    I like Swisher, but I’m not in favor of the M’s overpaying for him, something like 20 mil a year for 4-5 years. He’s not an elite player, he’s at the age where you would expect him to start to decline soon. Guess it’s trade for Upton of nothing for the offense. I’d be okay with Bourn as well, but he would really just be a replacement for Guti. Doesn’t provide any thump. Sigh.

  2. Swisher had wanted the west coast aka Cali teams, because his wife is an actress. I agree, rather not over pay him to hopefully hit 20 homers. I’d like to see us get Bourn, at least we’d have a legit leadoff hitter if nothing else. But i don’t see it happening.

    However i do see another 76-86 season coming. A totally disappointing winter so far.

  3. Palerydr says:

    It appears that Z is betting on improvement from within. He’s counting on Seager, Smoak, Ackley, Saunders, Momtero and Ryan to all pick their avgs up 20 to 40 points each. That’s alot to expect from these guys however IMO not impossible. I hear they are working with Montero on running the bases good luck with that but even a little improvement would be great from him. Is it possible that these guys can improve as hitters? I guess that’s the question we’ll be asking all season.

    As far as FA go I wouldn’t mind picking up Bourne he has a career .704 OPS and he will be 30 on opening day. He’s not a great RBI guy but capable. IMO he would help out the offense by being the leadoff guy and adding solid if not close to GG caliber defense in CF moving Guti to RF until he gets hurt or comes up with a new ailment of some kind. The problem with Bourne is his agent Borass he’s gonna ask too much money for too many years if we can sign him for a 15 mil avg for 4 years okay I doubt that amount will get him here I’m sure they will want more. That is still overpaying for him IMO but that’s what we will have to do until we start winning on a regular basis. It’s gonna be a tough year I believe no matter who we sign or don’t sign. I personally look forward to developing a solid pitching staff but I understand most fans want offense and want it right now.

  4. bbnate420 says:

    We already have a solid pitching staff. They were better than solid last year. Could be better this year, even if Vargas is hurt by the fences moving in.

    I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to be critical of the M’s upper management, but I can’t say I would’ve done anything differently this off-season. That’s assuming that the reports have been accurate. There was no offensive player worth overpaying to get this off-season, and that’s what they’re going to have to do at this point. Hopefully that changes, at least to some degree, when/if the moving of the fences helps hitting at Safeco and some of the young players grow up and allow them to finish at .500 or a little above. That should make Seattle more attractive to FA hitters. They may still have to overpay, but at least in the next off-season there are supposed to be some elite players out there to overpay for. I’d rather overpay for an elite player than a 30 something OF/1st baseman whose numbers at Yankee’s Stadium and in that lineup weren’t all that much better than Kyle Seager’s. There is still LaRoche out there. Maybe his value has dropped? If nothing else, they could take a flier on Grady Sizemore like they did with Bay. Why not?

  5. bbnate420 says:

    Well, now that I take another look at the potential FA list for 2014, it looks pretty crappy as well. Most of the good players set to be FAs have signed extensions. Maybe Ellsbury bounces back and they can make a run at him? They could try to outbid the Yankees for Cano. LOL! Sigh.

  6. footballscaa says:

    Huge contracts don’t make mid-level players better players. Silva, Sexton and johjima should still be fresh in your memories. Pitch well, play hard and maybe the ball bounces your way a time or two. If not, go see the Rainiers.

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