ESPN’s Buster Olney opined last week that the Indians are in the best position to sign free agent outfielder Nick Swisher. But a deal obviously hasn’t been struck yet and they do have some competition.
Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com was told by a baseball source on Tuesday that the Red Sox are “one of four teams” interested in signing Swisher.
The Giants and Mariners may be the other two.
Swisher batted .272/.364/.473 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI in 148 games this past season for the Yankees. The 32-year-old is thought to be seeking a five- or six-year contract.
In Boston, Swisher would presumably see regular playing time at first base — on days that Mike Napoli is catching — and in left field as a substitute for Jonny Gomes against right-handed pitching.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.