Indians' plan to bring Swisher home to Cleveland works

  • December 23, 2012 - 5:44 PM

The Cleveland Indians' pitch to bring Nick Swisher "home" worked.

Two people familiar with the negotiations said Swisher has agreed to a $56 million, four-year contract with the Indians, who used the free agent outfielder's deep Ohio connections to convince him to join the club. The people spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because Swisher must take a physical before the deal can be finalized. The Indians are expected to announce Swisher's signing after Christmas, one of the people said.

The Indians will not comment until Swisher completes his physical.

"Wow! What a crazy few weeks," Swisher said on Twitter. "Hey Cleveland! Are you ready? Because I'm coming home!"

Swisher's deal includes a $14 million option for 2017 that could become guaranteed based on plate appearances the previous year.

Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis was excited about the club's newest addition.

"Welcome to the Tribe [at]nickswisher, pumped to get ya," Kipnis tweeted.

The 32-year-old Swisher spent the past four seasons with the New York Yankees, taking advantage of the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium. A switch-hitter, Swisher hit .272 this season with 24 homers and 93 RBI.

Swisher will fill an outfield hole for the Indians, who traded Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati. Swisher will play right, with recently acquired Drew Stubbs likely taking over in center with Michael Brantley shifting from center to left field.

Swisher, who was born in Columbus and played at Ohio State, visited the Indians earlier in the week. The club used Swisher's ties with the Buckeyes to convince him to join the team.

Ibanez to join Mariners

Raul Ibanez will be joining the Mariners for a third go-round this coming spring.

All that remains to be seen after Ibanez, 40, agreed to a one-year, major-league contract with Seattle on Saturday night is determining the position where he'll spend most of his time. The Mariners plan to use Ibanez in both outfield corners, at designated hitter and also at first base, in a pinch.

The deal was reported as a $2.75 million contract with another possible $1.25 million in incentives. Ibanez hit .240 with 19 home runs and a .767 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 384 at-bats last year.

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