The Indians want to sign Nick Swisher, and they’re going after him college-recruiting style. From Jordan Bastian’s story…
According to Bart Swain, the Indians’ director of baseball information, Swisher arrived in Cleveland on Monday night and had dinner with team president Mark Shapiro, (general manager Chris) Antonetti and manager Terry Francona. Bullpen coach Kevin Cash, who was a teammate of Swisher’s with the Yankees in 2009, was also on hand. …
… During Tuesday’s tour of Cleveland’s home ballpark, the Indians announced Swisher’s name over the loudspeakers and played his personal walk-up music. On the scoreboard above left field, the outfielder saw his image and was also treated to a special video message, which featured a handful of personalities (including Ohio State coaches Urban Meyer (football), Thad Matta (basketball) and Greg Beals (baseball) urging him to return to his home state.
Swisher was treated to lunch with Antonetti and Francona, as well as former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and former Buckeye football player Dustin Fox, who currently works as a radio host on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. Swisher’s agent, Dan Lozano, was also present for the visit, which later included meetings with Shapiro, team CEO Paul Dolan and other executives.
The Indians seem to be pitching Swisher on the idea of coming back to Ohio, where he played college baseball at Ohio State. He would replace Shin-Soo Choo in right field and become a pivotal part of their lineup. In fact, he just might be their No. 3 hitter. He is reportedly going to meet with another team, but Seattle is reportedly out of the picture.
A few other notes from another quiet day for the Yankees:
• Baseball America’s latest minor league transactions include some famliar names. Long man Chad Gaudin has signed with the Giants (though there’s a solid chance the Yankees have already traded for him). Up-and-down reliever Jonathan Albaladejo has signed with the Marlins (though there’s a chance the Yankees are ready to give up a future closer for him). Lefty Steve Garrison has signed with the Diamondbacks (I have no joke to insert about Steve Garrison). Lefty Mike O’Connor — who was a nice boost for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season — signed with the Twins, and righty Buddy Carlyle — who played a small role with the Yankees in 2011 — signed with the Blue Jays (Toronto just keeps getting better!!).
• The Indians made their Mark Reynolds signing official. In the process, they designated Russ Canzler for assignment. If the Yankees 40-man roster weren’t packed I might suggest putting a claim on Canzler. He has right-handed power and can play the four corners. He’s not a huge prospect, but a .289/.365/.508 slash line through nearly a thousand at-bats in the pitcher-friendly International League is worth noticing.
• The Rays have finalized their deal with Roberto Hernandez (the former Fausto Carmona) on a one-year, $3.25-million contract that also has incentives.
• MLB Trade Rumors took a look at the potential market for Michael Bourn. The Yankees were included on the list as a bit of a long shot, but I’m having trouble buying into that idea. Just seems to me that they have similar (but cheaper) potential in Brett Gardner.
Associated Press photos