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.
Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.
The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com just tweeted that the Cubs will soon announce a five-year contract extension for president Theo Epstein. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that it’s worth in excess of $50 million.
He’s earned it. When he took over the Cubs in October, 2011 the Cubs were a last place team with an aging roster and a front office that was several years behind the state of the art in every conceivable way. Last year the Cubs made the playoffs and this year they are baseball’s best team by a large margin and the franchise looks poised to continue its success for some time.
So, yeah, I’d say locking Theo up is a good idea.