Buster Olney of ESPN.com writes that the Indians “are making a push in their effort to land” free agent outfielder Nick Swisher, which makes sense considering he was expected to be in Cleveland for a visit at some point this week.
Earlier this offseason the Indians reportedly made Shane Victorino a four-year, $44 million offer that was rejected, so they definitely have some money to thrown Swisher’s way.
Cleveland has been linked to him for most of the offseason, with some reports suggesting they were frontrunners to sign Swisher as far back as a month ago. At age 32 a long-term deal would be risky for the Indians, but Swisher’s production has been remarkably consistent with an OPS between .822 and .870 in each of the past four seasons and seven straight years with at least 148 games.
Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.
Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.
Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.
In the seemingly never-ending trend of front office officials getting new titles, the Cleveland Indians just announced that General Manager Chris Antonetti has been promoted to President of Baseball Operations and Mike Chernoff is now the GM.
Antonetti has been the Tribe’s GM for the past five years and is moving up in the wake of team president Mark Shapiro moving on to Toronto. Shapiro, however, also held business side responsibilities which Antonetti will not assume. Meaning, as before, he will be the top guy on baseball ops decisions, albeit with a grander title.
Chernoff has been an assistant GM for five years and has been with the organization for the past 12 years. As many new GMs these days he will, functionally speaking, still be an assistant when it comes to baseball decisions.