After Terry Francona lost out on the Shane Victorino sweepstakes to his former team, it is time for the Cleveland Indians to take a look at Plan B. That player is a former Red Sox target in 32-year-old right fielder Nick Swisher, as ESPN’s Buster Olney has reported that the Indians are “involved” in signing Swisher.
Worth around 4 WAR over the past three seasons, Swisher would be a solid addition for a number of clubs, but it is easy to envision a team overpaying for his services in the corner outfielder. In addition to the Indians, the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles have shown interest in Swisher. The M’s are looking to bring in some pop to their squad in the OF, and Swisher would fit that bill having produced about 25 home runs over the past three seasons to go with solid glove work.
Swisher is one of the most consistent players in the game, and one of the reasons why he is so consistent is his ability to get on base at a high rate. He owns a career .361 OBP and has been beating that total over the past couple of seasons. As he gets older, he will start to drop nearer to that total. Still, a .360 OBP is a number to be proud of, even if the decline is starting to set in a little (.364 OBP last year).
The Indians have interest, the need, and the desire to spend. They can get a good deal by signing Swisher and add a solid bat to the offense, but they could easily make a mess out of this scenario as well.
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