Nick Swisher has lost 15 pounds during the off-season

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The words “best shape of his life” weren’t used, but MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports that Indians 1B/DH Nick Swisher has lost 15 pounds during the off-season. Apparently, Swisher is feeling “stoked” about the 2015 season.

Per Bastian, Swisher also mentioned that he let some of the negative things written about him last year affect him, so he’s going to be a happy-go-lucky guy from now on.

Swisher, 34, has been relegated to DH duties after the Indians brought in Brandon Moss in a trade with the Athletics early in the off-season. Swisher batted a paltry .208/.278/.331 with eight home runs and 42 RBI in 401 plate appearances last season. The Indians have appeared interested in trading Swisher but finding a taker will be difficult given his age, declining production, and the fact that he’s owed $15 million in each of the next two seasons. He also has an option for 2017 worth $14 million which vests with 550 plate appearances in ’16 and a clean physical.

Reds are the frontrunner for Nicholas Castellanos

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Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”

The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.

Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.