Sunday, December 23, 2012

Swisher Changes Tribes

For most of the period (2009-2012) that Nick Swisher was in New York, the flamboyant outfielder was extremely popular with fans. His regular season numbers helped the Yankees to the post-season in each of his four seasons and as a right fielder he bonded with the Bleacher Creatures.  But Swisher struggled each post-season, including this last post-season, when many of the fans took out their frustration on Swisher and others. It will be interesting to see the reaction (likely positive) when Swisher returns in 2013 as a member of the Cleveland Indians.

The nine year veteran agreed to a four-year, $56MM deal on Sunday to play the outfield for the Indians through 2016. For Swisher, it's a homecoming of sorts, since he played for the Ohio State Buckeyes in college. He'll replace Shin-Soo Choo who was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds earlier this month.

Swisher will play for manager Terry Francona, who was named to replaced Manny Acta, after one year of working in the ESPN Sunday night baseball broadcast booth. Swisher averaged 26 HRs and 87 RBI in his four seasons in New York and was excellent at working the count. He topped 90 walks twice and compiled an .850 OPS. But Swisher hit just .161 in 36 career post-season games, with four home runs and eight RBI.

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