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.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.