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Nick Swisher Rumors
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.
The Orioles have found their left fielder, retaining Nate McLouth on a one-year, $2MM deal with $500K in incentives. McLouth is represented by The Sparta Group.
McLouth, 31, joined the Orioles in June after being released by the Pirates. He had a nice run for the O's, hitting .268/.342/.435 in 236 plate appearances. McLouth made the All-Star team in 2008 and signed a $15.75MM extension with the Pirates the following February. The Bucs traded him to the Braves a few months later, where he had a disappointing three-year stint. With the new Orioles contract, it was said McLouth sought only a straight one-year deal, as he looks to further re-establish his value.
Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com first reported the agreement, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun first reported it was close, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports added the amount. Photo courtesy of U.S. Presswire.
As the third day of the 2012 Winter Meetings gets underway, let's round up a few items out of the AL East…
- Keppinger was the Yankees' first choice as the right-handed part of a third base platoon, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. With Keppinger signing with Chicago, the Yankees are forced to move on to Plan B.
- Teams that have spoken to the Rays have come away thinking Tampa Bay is more likely to move James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson than David Price, says Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- With Darren Oliver still uncommitted to returning for the 2013 season, the Blue Jays continue to seek bullpen help, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.
- The Yankees are one of six teams vying for Jeff Keppinger's services, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Although we heard overnight that Keppinger could receive a three-year deal worth around $4MM annually, Sherman suggests that something in the two-year, $10MM range could work too
- Within the same column, Sherman writes that he's receiving "strong indications" the Yankees don't intend to pursue A.J. Pierzynski
- The Red Sox and Phillies haven't engaged in talks for Jacoby Ellsbury, a source tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (Twitter link)
- Despite agreeing to three-year deals for Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino already this week, the Red Sox still have plenty of room to spend, says Alex Speier of WEEI.com
- WEEI.com's Kirk Minihane believes the Victorino signing was a mistake by the Red Sox
- The Orioles met with Nick Swisher's agent in Nashville, and Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com wonders if there's a fit there.
- The Red Sox announced that they've signed 26-year-old right-hander Anthony Carter to a minor league deal, writes Speier at WEEI.com.
- The Giants have discussed Ichiro Suzuki this offseason, admitted Bochy to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Giants are talking with Ryan Theriot about a utility role, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. Theriot is a free agent after spending 2012 with San Francisco.
- The Giants view Nick Swisher as a big-ticket item and won't engage seriously with him, tweets Baggarly.
- Agent John Boggs spoke with the Giants about free agent outfielder Ben Francisco, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Nick Swisher market is heating up, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown. Agent Dan Lozano met with four teams, and Swisher spoke directly to two managers. With the Red Sox seemingly out on Swisher and the Giants not terribly interested, the Mariners seem to be the favorite in my opinion. The latest:
- The Orioles met today with Swisher's representatives, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.