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.
The Reds have signed free agent reliever Oliver Perez to a minor-league contract, the team announced Saturday. The deal comes with a major-league invite and could be worth $1.25 million if Perez secures a roster spot this spring, with an additional $500,000 in potential performance bonuses.
Perez, 36, is coming off of a two-year run with the Nationals. He produced a 4.64 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 an d10.6 SO/9 through 50 relief appearances and 33 innings with the club in 2017. The veteran lefty hasn’t kept an ERA under 4.00 in at least four seasons, but he continues to be undeniably solid against left-handed batters, holding them to a .227/.301/.364 batting line over 18 1/3 innings last year.
While returning southpaw Wandy Peralta appears to have locked down a bullpen spot already, Perez will still compete for another role against fellow left-handers Cody Reed and Amir Garrett, both of whom also have experience in the rotation. If Perez doesn’t break camp with the team, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon notes, he’ll be permitted to opt out of his contract. The Reds are currently looking to bounce back from a dismal performance in 2017, one in which their bullpen ranked 28th among major league teams with a collective 5.63 ERA and -1.2 fWAR.