Red Sox engaged in ongoing discussions with Nick Swisher

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A number of teams, including the Mariners and Rangers, have expressed interest this offseason in free agent outfielder Nick Swisher. But the Boston Red Sox might be the favorite to actually land him.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Sox “have had ongoing negotiations with Swisher and his agents” over the past few weeks. They’re viewing him as a potential upgrade over Cody Ross, with whom they’ve failed to work out a contract extension despite negotiations that date back to mid-July.

Swisher, 32, batted .272/.364/.473 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI in 148 games this past season for the Yankees.

Ross, 31, hit .267/.326/.481 with 22 homers and 81 RBI in 130 games for Boston.

Swisher would probably start in right field for the Red Sox. He could also provide depth at first base.

Giants making Brandon Belt available

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Giants have made first baseman Brandon Belt available in a trade and says that several teams have expressed interest in him.

Which is kind of weird, really.

Belt turns 31 early next season. He hit .253/.342/.414 with 14 homers over 112 games last year due to a knee injury and time lost to an appendectomy. He has a history of concussions and has averaged only 115 games over the last five seasons. Oh, and makes $48 million over the next three years.

Yes, he could be a very useful player if healthy, but taking on that kind of money, even a part of that money, when many very affordable first base/DH options are out there on the market makes little sense to me. Matt Adams. Justin Bour. Lucas Duda. As good as Belt? No, I don’t think so. But way cheaper and requiring less of a commitment.

But hey, rumors are rumors. Let a thousand flowers bloom.