Nick Swisher to visit with multiple teams next week

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The market for Nick Swisher has been slow to develop this offseason, but things are beginning to fall into place now that Josh Hamilton has agreed to a five-year, $125 million deal with the Angels.

According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Swisher plans to visit with multiple teams in person next week. It’s not clear what cities are on his itinerary, but the Indians have been his most aggressive suitor until now. The Mariners and Rangers could each be possibilities after missing out on Hamilton and don’t rule out the Red Sox if for some reason they aren’t able to finalize a contract with Mike Napoli.

Swisher, 32, batted .272/.364/.473 with 24 home runs, 93 RBI and an .837 OPS this past season. He turned down a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Yankees to test free agency, so whoever signs him will have to surrender a draft pick.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.