As first reported by beat writer Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the Indians have signed free agent outfielder Nick Swisher to a four-year contract worth $56 million. It’s only pending a physical exam.
The deal also includes a $14 million vesting option for the 2017 season, meaning the total potential length and value of the contract is five years, $70 million.
Swisher hit .272/.364/.473 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI in 148 games this past summer for the Yankees. The 32-year-old boasts a solid .256/.361/.467 career batting line in the major leagues.
Cleveland will start Michael Brantley in left field, Drew Stubbs in center and Swisher in right.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.