Indians “making a push” to sign Nick Swisher

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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.

Report: Mariners enter into a ballpark naming rights deal with T-Mobile

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Maury Brown of Forbes reports that T-Mobile will be the new naming rights partner for the Seattle Mariners’ ballpark beginning in 2019. Their park had been known as Safeco Field since it first opened in the summer of 1999. The 20-year naming rights deal with Safeco ended with the close of the 2018 season.

Brown reports that the deal will be around $3 million a year, which doesn’t seem like a whole lot. Then again, I have long been skeptical of how much naming rights actually bring back to the naming rights partner. That’s especially true when the partner is slapping its name on a ballpark that was known as something else beforehand. People tend to still use the old name and, I suspect, resent the new one a bit. Maybe that’s less the case when the park has only been known by corporate names, and no beloved traditional name is being displaced, but I still question if anyone really makes a single purchasing decision based on the name of a ballpark.

I know this much for sure, though: despite the relatively small cost of naming rights here, none of the most notable Seattle-based companies — which include Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Microsoft, Costco and Alaska Airlines — felt it was worth it. Possibly because they know people are gonna call the place “Safeco” for several years regardless.