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Nick Swisher Rumors
Here's the latest on the World Series champions, courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle's Hank Schulman…
- The Giants aren't close (Twitter link) to a deal to bring back former closer Brian Wilson. The club assumes that Wilson will only consider a return once he's closely looked at his other choices. Schulman reported earlier this month that Wilson had some hard feelings towards the Giants for non-tendering him and was looking to pitch elsewhere, preferably for the Red Sox or one of the Los Angeles teams.
- Nick Swisher doesn't appear to be a target (Twitter link) for the Giants.
- Cody Ross, Scott Hairston and Reed Johnson were all considered by the Giants as right-handed hitting outfield options, but the three players "either were not willing to take a part-timer's salary or not what the Giants wanted defensively." San Francisco instead reached agreement with Andres Torres to a one-year, $2MM contract earlier today.
- Giants president Larry Baer said his club feels no pressure to make any big moves to counter the Dodgers. "Our strategy is just different, developing guys and bringing them through the system and sprinkling in free agents and trades when it makes sense," Baer said. "We've done free agents before, but we're trying to do more of a homegrown thing…You can't let what any other team does alter your strategy. That would be a mistake. If we're going to look at the Dodgers spending all this money and say we're going to be free-agent-centric, we don't think that would be smart."
- In news from earlier today, the Giants are believed to have offered Ichiro Suzuki a two-year, $15MM contract, but Ichiro is on his way to taking a slightly smaller contract to re-sign with the Yankees.
Here's the latest on how Josh Hamilton's agreement with the Angels will affect several other players and teams all around the league, including how close some other teams came to signing the free agent slugger themselves…
- The Rangers have told Geovany Soto he'll be their everyday catcher in 2013, but ESPN's Buster Olney wonders if the Rangers could now pursue free agent backstop A.J. Pierzynski. Also from Olney, rival evaluators are speculating that the Rangers might now be the best fit for Nick Swisher (both links are to Olney's Twitter account).
- The Mariners "badly wanted" Hamilton, which means the Angels disappointed two of their AL West rivals today, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). MLB.com's Greg Johns hears that the M's were heavily courting Hamilton and "had strong hopes" he would sign with them.
- The Red Sox had interest in Hamilton but weren't willing to offer a contract longer than three years, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
- The Phillies were similarly not interested in Hamilton at such a high price, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Hamilton's signing could increase interest in other free agent outfielders like Swisher and Cody Ross, thus possibly pricing the Phillies out of the market and forcing them to turn their attention to acquiring pitching instead.
- The Marlins could reverse their stance on trading Giancarlo Stanton, opines MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, if the Rangers are desperate to add another big bat and were willing to offer Jurickson Profar or Mike Olt in a deal. Frisaro also thinks Miami could be a trade match with the Angels as Peter Bourjos "has been on the Marlins' radar for a while."
- Fangraphs' Dave Cameron breaks down the value of Mark Trumbo, Kendrys Morales and Bourjos both to the Angels and on the trade market.
- Bourjos, for his part, tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that he wants to remain in Anaheim and enjoys being an Angel, though he also wants to be an everyday player.
- ESPN's Keith Law doesn't see Hamilton providing much value in the last two years of his contract, though his signing "makes more sense" if the Angels trade some roster depth to fill the holes in their rotation. Law also notes that Michael Bourn appears to be running out of suitors, and speculates that Bourn could look for a one-year deal now and then look for a big multiyear contract next winter.
- Early today, we looked at rumors concerning the possibility of the Angels and Mets working out a trade involving R.A. Dickey.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post
- The Rangers haven’t pushed hard for free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). It appears that they’ll look at other options following the departure of Hamilton. However, Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that LaRoche's name came up today and that Texas might be willing to offer three years (Twitter link).
- The Rangers would like to add a pitcher, and are looking at mid-rotation starters, including Edwin Jackson, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports.
- Managers Robin Ventura and Bobby Valentine reflected on Kevin Youkilis' 2012 season with Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Also within the piece, Sherman shows that the Giants won the 2012 World Series without spending more than $1.25MM on a free agent during the winter of 2011-12. Yes, Ryan Theriot was San Francisco's most expensive free agent signing a year ago.
- Multiple teams continue pursuing Nick Swisher, but the free agent outfielder is “not even close” to making a decision, Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). At least three clubs are in the mix and a fourth may be involved. The Indians appear to be pursuing Swisher aggressively, and the Red Sox, Phillies, Mariners, Rangers, and Orioles have also been linked to him.
The Indians are in "aggressive pursuit" of Nick Swisher in the wake of the Shin-Soo Choo trade, reports ESPN's Jim Bowden (Twitter links). Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News says the Red Sox, Phillies, Mariners, Rangers, and Orioles have interest in the free agent switch-hitter as well.
Swisher, 32, hit .272/.364/.473 with 24 homers for the Yankees this season. It was his seventh consecutive season of 145+ games played and 22+ homers, one of only three big leaguers who can make that claim. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked Swisher as the sixth best free agent available this offseason, predicting he would sign with Baltimore.
To this point in the offseason, the Red Sox have focused on adding offense. That will make a difference, but they still must address a pitching staff that allowed more runs than all but two American League teams in 2012. Here are the latest Red Sox-related rumors…
- The Red Sox have kept in contact with the representatives for Nick Swisher throughout the offseason, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. Boston executives have maintained contract with the MVP Sports Group client even after reaching agreements with Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli, Bradford adds.
- However, the Boston outfield is set barring a trade, so Swisher doesn't appear to be a fit, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). Heyman adds that a trade involving Jacoby Ellsbury seems "very unlikely."
- The Red Sox will turn their attention to starting pitching and consider everyone from Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse on down, Heyman reports. GM Ben Cherington seeks value, according to Heyman. Check out MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker for a look at the remaining unsigned starters.
- Here's the latest on Mike Napoli, whose deal with Boston hasn't been finalized.
Asdrubal Cabrera, arguably the top shortstop available, has drawn trade interest as a third baseman. Before the Winter Meetings began, the Indians and Phillies discussed a trade that would have sent the shortstop to Philadelphia for Vance Worley and prospects, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
The Phillies, who have since sent Worley to the Twins and acquired Michael Young from the Rangers, would have used Cabrera at third base, according to Hoynes. While the Phillies offered Worley and two prospects, the Indians wanted more.
Cabrera, 27, will earn $6.5MM in 2013 and $10MM in 2014 before his contract expires. The switch hitter can block trades to the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Nationals, Giants and Mets. In 616 plate appearances this past season, he posted a .270/.338/.423 batting line.
The Indians appear to have closed the books on Kevin Youkilis, though they still have needs in left field and at DH. Nick Swisher remains a target for Cleveland, according to Hoynes. GM Chris Antonetti hopes to add to his rotation and the Indians have been in touch with most free agent starters.
The Phillies have made a couple of significant trades in the past week, acquiring Ben Revere from the Twins in exchange for Vance Worley and Trevor May, and also landing Michael Young and cash from the Rangers for Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla. Here's the latest on the Phils…
- During a press conference today, Young told the media that the Rangers were only going to give him 300 at-bats this season (Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting on Twitter).
- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is happy with the additions of Young and Revere but would like general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. to make one more big splash, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- In a separate piece, Gelb writes that the Phillies figure to sign one of Cody Ross, Nick Swisher and Josh Hamilton to fill a corner vacancy. They've long coveted Ross, but aren't as big on Swisher, perhaps due to his price tag. Gelb notes that the Phillies could offer Hamilton a shorter-term deal with a high annual value if his demands decrease.
The Indians offered Shane Victorino four years and $44MM before he signed with the Red Sox, an indication that Cleveland has the capacity to spend on at least one major free agent this offseason. Here's the latest on the Indians, starting with a pair of free agent pursuits…
- While the Indians are hoping to sign Swisher to a four-year deal in the $48-50MM range, his market has shifted and he might now command a four-year, $60MM contract, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter).
- The Indians may have offered Youkilis more than $18MM for two years, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (on Twitter).
- Kevin Youkilis must decide whether to accept a two-year, $18MM contract to play for Terry Francona and the Indians or take a one-year, $12MM deal to play for the Yankees, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes (on Twitter).
- It appears as though Cleveland could be in the best position to sign Nick Swisher, Olney reports (on Twitter).
The latest on Swisher from Wednesday was that the Phillies, Indians and Mariners seemed to be the most logical fits following Baltimore's re-signing of Nate McLouth. Here's what the rumor mill has in store for Swisher today, with the newest updates at the top…
- The Phillies aren't in on Swisher despite a need for outfielders, tweets Scott Miller of CBS Sports.
- With the Giants out due to financial reasons, the Orioles out because of McLouth and the Red Sox out because of Shane Victorino (barring a trade), Jon Heyman of CBS Sports lists the Indians and Mariners as Swisher's primary suitors (Twitter link).
- Most teams are looking at Swisher as a fallback option, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio. The Indians, Mariners, Rangers and Phillies are all being impacted by the decision-making process of Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn for the time being.
3:41pm: Morosi tweets that the Orioles aren't likely to make a real push for Swisher with McLouth back in the fold. Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and SiriusXM identifies Swisher's strongest suitors as the Phillies, Indians, and Mariners (Twitter link).
2:44pm: Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports still list the Red Sox and Giants among the potential suitors for Swisher. However, the Sox would have to move Jacoby Ellsbury, while the Giants figure to employ a low-cost platoon in left field instead.
The Orioles, Mariners, and Indians are also still involved, according to the FOX duo.
1:02pm: Indians manager Terry Francona called Swisher to pitch the Tribe to him, tweets Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
11:38am: After missing out on Shane Victorino to the Red Sox, the Indians have shifted their focus to other outfielders. One of their targets, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter), is Nick Swisher.
The Red Sox and Giants both had interest in Swisher, but with Victorino in Boston and San Francisco likely not having the money for a big free agent outfielder, those teams both appear to be out of the running.
The Orioles and Mariners are among the other clubs that could be in on Swisher, though MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli writes that Baltimore may just be doing due diligence on the former Yankee. The O's still hope to sign Nate McLouth, and Swisher may be out of their price range, says Ghiroli.