Indians sign Nick Swisher to four-year, $56 million contract

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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.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.