Nick Swisher, Indians Now an Item

Nick Swisher is a talented, big-money veteran with an actress wife, and he likes to generate attention and play under the bright lights of a major media market. The Cleveland Indians play in Cleveland, and they just lost 94 games, and last year their Opening Day payroll was under $70 million. On paper, Swisher and the Indians aren’t much of a fit, but that didn’t stop Swisher from signing a four-year contract with the Indians worth $56 million. A fifth-year vesting option would increase the value to $70 million. Few saw Cleveland being Swisher’s eventual destination, but recently the Indians put on the full-court press, and they were able to twist Swisher’s arm.

One thing that’s unclear is the nature of Swisher’s free-agent market. Publicly, there wasn’t much of a sweepstakes, so Swisher might not have had many alternatives. But this can be sold as Swisher opting to go home, since he was born in Columbus, went to high school in West Virginia, and went to college at Ohio State. To the average person, going to Cleveland would hold a certain amount of appeal; to Swisher, going to Cleveland would hold a higher amount of appeal, presumably. So there’s that angle at play.

The roster fit is easy, because the Indians recently dealt Shin-Soo Choo, and Swisher will simply replace him in right field. Choo would’ve left after the season, whereas Swisher could be around for a while. It’s funny what happens when you compare the two:

2010-2012 statistics

Swisher: 129 wRC+
Choo: 131 wRC+

Swisher: 11.9 WAR
Choo: 10.2 WAR

Swisher: 12% walks
Choo: 11% walks

Swisher: 21% strikeouts
Choo: 21% strikeouts

Nick Swisher and Shin-Soo Choo are hardly clones of one another, but they do have a lot in common, so the Indians shouldn’t miss Choo’s productivity going forward. To replace their departed right fielder, the Indians acquired a similar right fielder.

Overall, is Swisher worth a four-year, $56-million contract? Based on the Contract Crowdsourcing results, the FanGraphs audience projected that Swisher would land a…four-year, $56-million contract. Dave Cameron identified that as his top free-agent value. Said Dave in early November:

He’s the safest bet in the entire class, and a four year deal would only take him through age 35. If a team can actually get Swisher for 4/56, they should jump on it before the rest of the league realizes that they’re skipping out on a bargain.

Swisher’s a good player — he’s been a good player for a long time — and good players can and do cost $14 million a season. For whatever it’s worth, over the past four seasons, Swisher’s player page says he’s been worth about $66 million. Factor in some inflation to offset some decline and you have what looks like a perfectly reasonable deal.

But is Swisher worth this contract to an Indians team that doesn’t seem to be on the verge of contention? Recently, we defended the Cubs’ pursuit of Anibal Sanchez, and their acquisition of Edwin Jackson. A big part of the argument is that there’s value in improving the on-field product, even if you don’t make the playoffs, and you can never know when you might make the playoffs. Our team projections are not nearly as precise as one would like them to be. Last year, the Indians won just 68 games, but the year before that they won 80 games with a similar roster and they were within two games of the division lead in the middle of August. The Indians might not be close, but they might be closer than we think, and of course, Swisher isn’t under contract only for 2013.

Interestingly, something working in the Indians’ favor was that Swisher was extended a qualifying offer by the Yankees, but the Indians’ first-round draft pick is protected. While the Indians lose a pick for signing Swisher, they don’t lose as high a pick as another team would’ve, so the value of that lost pick is lower. The Indians, then, could put together a stronger contract offer.

When it comes to Swisher’s skillset, there are questions about his defense, and he isn’t a burner on the basepaths. His value comes from his above-average on-base ability and his above-average power. Swisher is a switch-hitter, and what I find most interesting is how his platoon splits break down:

wRC+ ISO BB% K% Pull% GB% BABIP
as RHB 129 0.171 17% 16% 50% 37% 0.297
as LHB 116 0.228 12% 24% 46% 37% 0.289

Swisher has historically been productive from both sides, but he’s been differently productive in different ways. Batting righty against lefties, Swisher has walked as often as he’s struck out, and he’s hit for slightly above-average power. Batting lefty against righties, Swisher has struck out twice as often as he’s walked, and he’s hit for far more power. Swisher has hit 47 home runs batting right-handed, and he’s pulled 45 of them. He’s hit 162 home runs batting left-handed, and he’s pulled 105 of them. From the right side, Swisher’s a pure pull guy, while he can spray the ball better as a lefty.

We have a little more PITCHf/x data going back to 2008:

Swing% Contact% In Play%
as RHB 35% 85% 45%
as LHB 42% 76% 36%

As a righty, Swisher’s been more selective, and he’s been better about making contact. These numbers were suggested by the earlier numbers, but here we get confirmation.

If you’re wondering, this is what Swisher’s swings look like, or at least this is what Swisher’s swings looked like once:

In New York, Swisher’s home stadium was far more friendly to lefty hitters than righty hitters. In Cleveland, Swisher’s home stadium will be far more friendly to lefty hitters than righty hitters. It’s less friendly to both, but we can account for park effects, now. Progressive Field won’t alter Swisher’s overall value as a player.

One thing you can’t do with Swisher is just assume he’ll remain consistent, since he’s been consistent. The fact that he’s been the same player four years in a row doesn’t mean he’ll be the same player in 2013 or 2014, because consistency isn’t nearly as predictive as one might imagine. A consistent player is consistent only up until he is not anymore. Hell, if Swisher’s so consistent, what happened to him in 2008? This isn’t to say that Swisher’s consistency is a bad thing, though, and as projections are concerned, Swisher’s are favorable. Because he’s been good, he should stay pretty good over the life of this contract. Over the life of this contract, maybe the Indians will become pretty good, too. I’m sure they’d like that.

Nick Swisher is a former Yankee with an actress wife, and he’s committed himself and his family to Cleveland, Ohio. Little about this outcome was predictable, but Swisher found his money in a familiar environment, and the Indians got themselves a potential bargain. As Christmas presents go, those are better than socks, unless they’re like really sweet socks.




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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

80 Responses to “Nick Swisher, Indians Now an Item”

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  1. fjtorres says:

    What I find interesting is precisely that Swisher is about as useful as Choo, which raises interesting questions. Would Choo have accepted Switcher’s contract? Would it had been offered?
    By trading Choo and signing Swisher, the Indians have *on paper* extended their RF for 3 more years (gaining predictability) and picked up Trevor Bauer. Risks vs reward: does Bauer pan out? Does Swisher degrade? Does Choo mount a salary drive?
    And, of course; what does Choo sign for in ’14-and-beyond?
    It’ll be a while before this manuever fully plays out.

    One last thought: Swisher was the Indians’ *fallback* position.
    Their first choice was apparently Victorino.
    So if things do play out positively, let’s not give them undue credit… :)

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    • Ed says:

      Choo is a Boras client so there is zero chance that the Swisher contract would have been accepted if the Indians offered it. Choo will also be 14 months younger than Swisher when he hits free agency so that has to be factored in to the comparison.

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      • isavage30 says:

        Choo will only be 8 months younger

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      • Ed says:

        Thanks, I was looking at the wrong thing. So 8 months younger. Which still adds some to Choo’s value when he hits the free agent market relative to Swisher.

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      • MyTribe says:

        The problem with Choo waiting a year is that at most he will get 9.5 to 10 million this year, so Choo has to make up 4 to 4.5 million going forward.

        Plus, for Choo this becomes a risk year in a new ballpark and if he is kept in Centerfield he will have a learning curve, and he did hit under .200 batting lefty this past season. Apparently Stubbs was pretty good in centerfield.

        A couple advantages Choo gets is the possibility of a bidding war and the opportunity to possibly pick his destination, assuming mutual interest.

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    • MyTribe says:

      I did a comparison of Cody Ross and Nick Swisher and it appears that no matter who the Indians wanted, it would have probably raised the price of the player they signed while simultaneously lowering the price of the player not signed.

      If the Indians had gone for Cody Ross instead, his price probably rises from 8.7 million a year to 10 million a year since the Indians would have to outbid Arizona. If the Indians sign Ross and are no longer bidding on Swisher, Swisher’s value might then drop to 12.5 to 13 million a year and suddenly Swisher at 12.5 million vs Ross at 10 million looks like a real bargain.

      Instead, Ross went to Arizona for 8.7 million a year and the Indians final push for Swisher appears to have bumped Swisher a bit more money. So Ross at 3 years, 26 million, and based on offensive stats, is probably a better value than Swisher at 14 million a year.

      For those who disagree, the biggest difference between the two players was Swisher has averaged 6 more home runs a year and 45 more walks. If 45 more walks can in part help elevate a players value significantly, then the Indians have a sleeper in Lou Marson, who apparently put up the best ratio of walks per at bats of virtually any player in either league with at least 200 at bats in 2012.

      It looks like that whichever player the Indians signed would probably make the other player look like a slightly better value.

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  2. Tom says:

    George W. Bush did WTC

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  3. Basebull says:

    I’m kind of shocked that a team didn’t step up and offer more. Seems like a steal for a perennial four-win player.

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  4. JDub says:

    Seemed like a fit for Texas if they were reluctant to move Kinsler to first. As a neutral observer, it’s nice to see Cleveland spending some money.

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    • Aaron Steindler says:

      As a Cleveland fan, this is the first time since the change in ownership that the Indians actually spent some real money in the free agent market. There’s no way they’re going to convince Hamilton to sign here, but I agree that from any perspective, it’s nice to finally see.

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  5. Municipal Stadium says:

    Swisher is a good sign at this point. I believe (as the article agrees) that this was a fairly priced deal. As the article points out, if you do a side by side Choo and Swish on paper are close in comparison. Choo as some youth, swisher has exp. winning with pinstripes. As a Cleveland native and Fan, what i am looking for is some team leadership on the field and a good attitude. This last season was tough to watch and I had the impression that the team had a lack of interest as a whole. Hopefully Swish can bring some life. He should be an instant fan favorite. Also, I wanted to mention that aside from the ties to Ohio that brought swish on board, I know that Francona being the new skipper had to be a nice draw as well.

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    • Baltar says:

      I don’t get the hometown angle. Columbus is pretty far from Cleveland and West Virginia even farther. But if Swisher and the Indians see it that way, fine.

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      • Spencer says:

        The Indians are pretty much the pro baseball choice for people in Ohio, but outside of Cincinnati. I’m sure he did some cheering for the Indians growing up.

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  6. Jerry says:

    This would be a great value signing for many teams, but not the Indians. The Cubs’ Jackson contract is not a good comparison, because the Cubs have more financial resources than the Indians. Unless the Tribe has a lot more cash than I realize, they should not be handing out contracts like this. Swisher will be a nice player for them, don’t get me wrong, but it’s going to limit their ability to spend in other areas. Cleveland would have been better off adding multiple right handed hitters and pitching depth with all the money they used on Swisher.

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    • fjtorres says:

      The Indians do in fact have a *lot* more money to work with than their budget gives them. Most of their regional cable revenues just happen to land in the Dolan budget, not the team’s.
      For years the team’s budget has been determined solely by stadium attendance (with only a token cable rights payment) but after last year’s meldown Dolan realized he was facing a death spiral. When your team payroll at the end of the season resembles the Marlins it is clearly time to breakdown and spend a buck or two before the union files a grievance.
      With other teams negotiating major increases for their cable rights, the Indians face a serious long term competitiveness problem if the Dolans keep lowballing their broadcast rights. For now their rights, at around $30M a year are in the lower third of the rankings (and about half of what other midwest teams get) but when the new mega contracts kick in for 2014 and beyond they’ll be bottom 3 by far. Only Pittsburgh and maybe Oakland will be lower.

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      • isavage30 says:

        There was a report earlier this month that STO is going to be sold soon to Fox Sports, and it will mean the rights fee will go up to $40 million/year. With that and the national TV money, and the fact that they are starting from a really low salary baseline, they have quite a bit of cash to spend.

        Swisher filled a huge need. He can play OF and 1B, two positions where they have no internal options this year or next. What “multiple right-handed bats” and starting pitching, is going to give them the value the Swisher signing does? He’s upgrading a position that would’ve otherwise been filled by a replacement-level player. They should still have cash to sign at least a starting pitcher, they had offers out to Edwin Jackson and Swisher. Swisher’s deal only pays him $11 million in 2013, and by 2014 the national TV revenue kicks in, and they’ll likely be seeing increases in revenue sharing from all of the other local mega-TV deals. At this point, they could still really use a starting pitcher and an outfielder (preferably left-handed, who could platoon with Drew Stubbs). Beyond that, there isn’t a clear upgrade to be had on the free agent market.

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      • MyTribe says:

        Carrera managed to hit .302 combined against 9 of the 10 teams he faced in 2012 as an Indian.

        I think he has potential, a surprisingly spry bat for such a skinny guy, he is able to pull inside pitches for doubles down the right field line, and seemed to be improving his opposite field approach on outside pitches over the final couple of weeks of the season.

        Minnesota really yanked him to the tune of a .095 batting average, but the other nine teams Carrera faced he hit a combined .302 against.

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  7. Jay says:

    Swish is comparable to Choo. This includes Choo Choo’s train wreck of a season. Is this a fair comparison?

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  8. gareth says:

    Great move. This offseason has been a very successful one for Chris Antonneti and there are rumored to be a few more moves coming before the off season is over (dh, sp).

    The team last year was lifeless and embarrassingly too left handed. The manager had lost the clubhouse, and the fans again stayed away in droves. Something had to be done.

    Terry francona, Trevor Bauer, nick swisher, mark Reynolds and two solid bullpen guys IN.

    Choo plus the remnants of players attached to the successful run in 2007 are gone (Sizemore, hafner, rafael Perez) OUT.

    The injured have gone from a chronically injured / dead fish of a franchise to a team with niece pieces and some actual hope for the coming seasons. They are not a contender, but to have set themselves up so nicely in one off season in a job well done in my book.

    Now use you magic wand to fix ubaldo, Chris. Go tribe!

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    • PL says:

      If they send Ubaldo to SD for literally anything, sign Marcum and someone like Berkman, or even bring Thome home for one last go-around, they are going to be a very good team next year. I think they’re a better team than the Orioles on paper like, right now.

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      • 4233 says:

        Please:Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Chris Davis, Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy, Nolan Reimold……Plus the pitching is better than Cleveland’s and Ill Raise your Bauer with Bundy…Oh, I almost forgot about the shut down bullpen…..To even say Cleveland is better on paper is a big time stretch….And thats being kind……

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      • BJsWorld says:

        Come on now.

        A 94 loss team doesn’t typically turn around by:

        1. Dumping a pitcher who had a poor but not awful year
        2. Sign an innings eater coming off a major injury
        3. Sign a DH who was injured (Berkman) or hardly played (Thome)
        4. Replace Choo with someone who returns roughly the same value as Choo
        5. Add Trevor Bauer

        They should be better than 2012 but I’m not sold on them being a “very good team” with the changes you outlined.

        I’d also suggest that the Orioles aren’t that good. They had a terrific 2012 but I’d be shocked if they came within 10 wins of the 2012 campaign.

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      • PL says:

        @BjsWorld The A’s and O’s were pretty awful in 2011. Teams can turn around doing a lot less than this.

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  9. gareth says:

    With Grady gone, the tribe now has a new focal point in regards to jerseys and general merchandise. With his Ohio roots and persona, swisher gives the Indians an identifiable face for the franchise.

    Before his signing, the only semi recognized name for the Indians was Choo, who unfortunatly slumped badly after his dui and broke his hand. Not exactly very marketable.

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    • PL says:

      Gotta hand it to Clevo, they wiped the floor with the Reds/Dbax in that deal. Bauer, a grip of great relievers and a great gloved CF for Choo? Biggest hosing of the offseason (I actually think the Marlins got good value from the Jays)

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  10. Kevin says:

    To the average person going to Cleveland has a certain amount of appeal? You mean like zero or what?

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  11. gareth says:

    I am a proponent of spending money to make money. And am very happy big cash was “doled” out to make this move happen. Welcome to the Cleveland Indians, Mr nick swisher.

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  12. gareth says:

    Hey Kevin. It is immaterial where a baseball player plays. They spend half the time on the road and the off season is usually spent in a warm part of the USA or another country.

    Conversely though, nick Swisher and his father Steve went to college and have many friends and family here. Their ties are real. Sometimes it’s not all about the big market (although swisher does love the spotlight and unlike many, thrives in it). He’s a buckeye, and he’ll actually understand why The fans are singing “hang on sloopy.”

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  13. Hobo Harry says:

    Nick Swisher woulda been a terrific fit in Texas. Shows you how much rangers values their 1st round picks. Great signing for Cleveland. Safer long term investment than Choo too. Cleveland might just have team starting to contend in 2014…

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  14. Omar Isaiah Betts says:

    Red Wing makes the best socks out there and are Made in USA. They only come in white but if you wear colored socks to work you’re not a real man anyway and should be shamed of yourself…

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  15. PL says:

    Swisher also can handle playing 1B decently well too, so even if he ages his way out of the outfield, Cleveland will still be able to put him in the field and have nice results.

    Is it just me, or is Cleveland a Marcum & Berkman away from looking like legit contenders? If they can get anything for Ubaldo they should, and then go get Marcum, who’s the pitching version of Swisher in terms of bargain value.

    Now all MLB has to do is get new non-racist names for the Cleveland and Atlanta teams, screw tradition and history, those names are an abomination to the game and always have been.

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    • SCRAYS says:

      THIS IS A FOOLISH COMMENT. Why make racist comments on Christmas of all days? Why is YOUR comment racist? Because using your logic it’s OK to have a White team name and a Christain team name (Yankees & Padres) but not Indian names. Seems to me you are reacting to the mass media programing then looking at the situation and making your own decision.

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    • Brad says:

      I’m inclined to disagree. The LOGO is racist for Cleveland, for sure. But Ohio has arguably the richest tradition of Native American culture in the country. I don’t feel a name paying tribute to them is inherently racist. “Redskins” certainly is. But “Braves,” “Seminoles,” “Indians,” “Warriors” etc. I don’t find to be particularly offensive. I understand if someone felt different, though.

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  16. RON says:

    Don’t get me wrong, as an Indians fan, I love having Swisher on the Tribe. But does this contract make sense for this team and where they are at?

    LAST 5+ YEAR AVERAGES
    SWISHER………………………3.29 WAR, 26 HR, .256 AVG, .467 SLG, .828 OPS, .361 OBP…14 MIL/YR
    WILLINGHAM …………….. 2.6 WAR, 24 HR, .261 AVG, .483 SLG, .845 OPS, .362 OBP….7 MIL/YR
    ROSS …………………………….2.26 WAR, 19 HR, .262 AVG, .460 SLG, .783 OPS, .324 OBP…8.6 MIL/YR
    KUBEL………………………….1.14 WAR, 22 HR, .268 AVG, .467 SLG, .801 OPS, .334 OBP…7.5 MIL/YR
    LUDWICK ……………………..2.6 WAR, 23 HR, .263 AVG, .466 SLG, .799 OPS, .334 OBP…7.5MIL/YR

    What is the Tribe’s plan? Rebuilding? Winning now? Is it worth it for an admittedly small market, limited budget team to commit 4 years (with an option) on a 32 year old, who will be making almost double of relatively equal talent? This team has too many holes, a limited budget and a sparse minor league system and are now on the hook for $14 million per year for possibly 5 years on a 32 yr old OF/1B. What is the plan?

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    • Valuearb says:

      Kubel isn’t an outfielder, he’s a DH who plays a statue for half an inning at a time in the NL.

      Ross is old with huge platoon split in the worst direction.

      Ie none of these are similar to Swisher.

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    • PL says:

      Why would you use 5 years of averages? Swisher has been a steady 4 WAR player the last 3, and will continue to be so. He is also MUCH more talented and MUCH more reliable than all those other players you listed.

      Cleveland gets the best bargain of the offseason and had the biggest win in a trade this offseason, yet people still complain. Unreal.

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    • PL says:

      Other than DH and replacing Ubaldo with someone who can actually pitch, what are the Indians holes? On paper, they look better than the Orioles do right now.

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    • isavage30 says:

      Those aren’t really relative equal talents though, are they? Other than Willingham, who was a big miss by the Indians, the only one in your list who’s close to Swisher is Ludwick, and the only reason Ludwick’s WAR average looks halfway decent is because you went back 5 years. In the last 3 he’s averaged Swisher’s WAR.

      They need Swisher now, they will need him later. If not him, someone with similar talent. I don’t really get why people think a team should not spend. Yes, if the owner simply wants to make more money, then don’t sign Swisher. Other than profit, what is the opportunity cost to sign Swisher? Now that Choo’s gone, they don’t have anyone they need to worry about extending until at least the end of 2014. Their lineup is Brantley, Cabrera, Santana, Swisher, Reynolds, Kipnis, Chisenhall, Drew Stubbs, and a DH. Their pitching staff is Masterson, Ubaldo, Carlos Carrasco/Bauer, Zach McAllister and probably a free agent. Their bullpen is set. They don’t actually have that many holes they need to fill. Their problem is more that their young, cost-controlled players haven’t really performed to expectations, but it’s not like they should go out and sign a free agent to replace Kipnis, Brantley or Chisenhall.

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    • fjtorres says:

      Sounds like they want to rebuild and not be a doormat while they wait for the prospects to mature.

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  17. Gareth says:

    The Tribe have been slowly marginalizing and phasing out Chief Wahoo and the Indians name for a while now. Their New (ish) Spring Training facility in Goodyear, Arizona barely has any of the older Logo’s depicting the name or character.

    What is interesting is the last time the Indians won the world series was in 1948, sporting the most racist Yellow Faced Chief Wahoo Caricature (check it out, its pretty awful). Since they changed to the more cartoony red faced Chief Wahoo, they have not won a world series since. A run of futility only bettered by the Cubs. Coincidence?

    If the team wanted to re-brand for the sake of political correctness (but stay true to their historical roots) they could always revert back to one of their original names before they became the Cleveland Indians. The team was once called the Cleveland Spiders, which could be pretty cool.

    Whatever happens with the Logo it is an interesting topic for debate. The Fans cover both ends of the spectrum (From staunchly Pro Chief Wahoo to Disgust, Shame and embarrassment) and everything in between.

    One last thing. I once stayed over at a friends house in Northeast Ohio and he was a massive Tribe fan. He had a huge Bobblehead of the 1948 Yellow Face Chief Wahoo in his living room. The thing was literally the size of an 8 year old child.

    I did not sleep well that night.

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    • PL says:

      I think the film Major League really kept the issue out of the spotlight, because people did not harp on it (when they should have).

      I’m an A’s fan but have a soft spot for Cleveland, but its 2012 and there are still professional sports teams in America bearing these names. Its really no different than calling a team “The Black People” or “The Honkies”. Its so out of place in the modern world and sticks out like a sore thumb. I can’t even bring myself to write it, but MLB’s Cleveland & Atlanta franchises, and NFL’s Washington & Kansas City franchises all need new names…well The Chiefs could be rebranded like Peoria did, to mean Fire Dept Chief or Chief of Staff, but those other three need to go, pronto. It only ever will lead to more racism in this country, as young people see this and think its ok.

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    • 4233 says:

      Are you kidding? I had a fitted tribe hat in high school and it was cool because it was different…Different from the sea of Yankee and Braves hats anyway…The logo is part of that teams culture and i dont think it should be changed…Do you think the NA’s have any beef with that hat while they are enjoying proceeds from tax free gambling?…I really dont think they care and by the way, its ok to be white…

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      • Nikki says:

        These are completely different issues, and gambling revenues don’t justify having a caricature of your culture on display as a team’s symbol. The names are racist, plain and simple, and I applaud media outlets who refuse to refer to the teams by their name, and only by the city they play in (e.g. Cleveland or Washington instead of the Indians or Redskins).

        Bottom line – would any expansion team being formed today ever consider naming themselves after a racist and derogatory slur? Of course not. That fact alone tells you how outdated these team names are, and the sooner they’re changed, the sooner this issue will finally end.

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      • vivalajeter says:

        How is ‘Indian’ a racist slur? It’s another word for Native American, and I know many people that innocently use it to refer to them. I don’t recall ever hearing someone use ‘Indian’ as an insult.

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      • mgraves says:

        I’ll believe that it’s about insulting caricatures when that ridiculous Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish leprechaun is in the same conversation. It’s about sacred cows.

        I find it to be highly unlikely that any fan of any team views the mascot as offensive–is San Diego insulting Roman Catholic clergy? The team names were a sort of tribute to peoples who were believed to be warlike and uncompromising in the face of opposition (sports as a metaphor for war–a metaphor I find entirely outlandish).

        The names were a tribute to an idyllic ignorant representation. I find it highly unlikely that one would name one’s franchise after something or someone that one found distasteful, demeaning, or insulting.

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      • PL says:

        @vivalajeter

        Its not a slur, but its no different than calling a team “The Houston Negroes” or “The Detroit Caucasians”. Its like, why???

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    • DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy says:

      Change your uniforms and you’ll win a WS! That’s how it seems and look at what happened with the Kings…

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  18. Gareth says:

    Hey Ron – You’ve copied and pasted that same information numerous times. Get some new material or just enjoy the fact we actually got an impact bat to slot into a Cleveland Lineup that needed one.

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    • RON says:

      2x isn’t numerous….took time to put together so cut me some slack. Swisher is solid and is a “ballplayer” (I dig it) but impact? He’s 32…not exactly on the upside. Anybody remember Hafner’s dredge of a contract? Will there be $ for Asdubal in 2 years? Maybe Lindor ready? If the team was developing talent at the minor league level consistently, I’d be more open to the contract. Too many holes, lack of pitching and minor league talent and a small budget team. I don’t see the Rays chasing contracts.

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      • isavage30 says:

        Because they are not developing talent isn’t a reason to avoid the free agent market, it’s a reason why they need to use the free agent market.

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  19. Valuearb says:

    Neglecting to incorporate the substantial value of having Mrs. Swisher attending home games makes this articles methodology and conclusions suspect at best.

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  20. Gareth says:

    Comparing Hafner to Swisher is a poor comparison. Swisher actually has a Baseball Glove.

    In regards to Minor League talent in the Cleveland system: It is sparse at best and includes NO impact Outfielders or First Baseman. You can mention Aguilar or Fedroff but these guys are long shots. The viable pitching talent is mostly in A ball or Lower (with the exception of Bauer) and is years away.

    To compare the Indians to the Rays is unrealistic. Both Tampa and Oakland do what they do incredibly well and smartly. Drafting, trades ect.

    Cleveland in not in their position. (1) They drafted terribly until Brad Grant (who is Awesome) took over a few years back. (2) They got stuck with a bloated contract, A fraud, a broken player and a bunch of AAAA regulars. (3)They got horrible returns in trades for not 1 but 2 CY YOUNG award winners. In Consecutive seasons!

    The only thing they have in common with the A’s and Rays is that the Indians attendance is also Horrible.

    My point is, through all that ineptitude they somehow still have a respectable team to put on the field in 2013. Antonetti has done a great job re-shaping the roster this winter but he himself acknowledged there is still a little work to be done this offseason.

    I honestly believe this team has a chance to be the Orioles of next season, and I didn’t before the winter. For example if Antonetti picks up Shaun Marcum as a Free Agent and Trades for Jason Kubel (hopefully another Towers Fleece) you have a really solid ballclub.

    LF Brantley
    SS Cabrera
    C Santana
    RF Swisher
    1B Reynolds
    DH Kubel
    2B Kipnis
    3B Chisenhall
    CF Stubbs

    Bench: Aviles, Gomes, Carrera, Marson.

    SP Jiminez
    SP Masterson
    SP Marcum
    SP McCallister
    SP Bauer
    (Depth) Carraco, Gomez, Kazmir ect.

    CL C. Perez & very solid bullpen (Pestano, Smith, Albers, Shaw, Hagadone ect).

    Not Too Shabby.

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  21. Gareth says:

    It does not have to be Jason Kubel and Shaun Marcum.

    Could be Kyle Lohse and Manny Parra.

    Scott Hairston and Joe Saunders.

    Basically another Solid Bat and a Veteran Starter. That will put a nice bow on this successful off season.

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  22. Jim S. says:

    Not mentioned thus far is that Swisher provides a plus righthanded bat to a lineup which at times last season trotted out 4-5 lefthanded hitters against lefthanded starters. For the last decade Cleveland has led the majors in at-bats against opposite-handed pitching, but more balance (with Reynolds and Stubbs) was certainly needed.

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  23. Gareth says:

    Good Point about Lineup balance.

    One of the worse moments last season (for those still watching, that is) was when the Tigers brought up this nobody pitcher from the minors to face the Indians instead of the regular guy that was due to start. Was he a Phenom? No. Was he better than the guy he took over for? No.

    He was Left Handed. And duly shut down the Tribe offense that night.

    But wait! There must have been righties on the bench to counter such a bold move. Right?

    Step Forward – Shelley Duncan, Lou Marson, Jose Lopez, Jason Donald.

    Yeuch.

    It’s Good to see you guys come to Cleveland, Mr Stubbs, Swisher and Reynolds. You are most Welcome.

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  24. CircleChange1 says:

    One thing you can’t do with Swisher is just assume he’ll remain consistent, since he’s been consistent.

    Isn’t this pretty much the opposite of what sabermetrics would advise?

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  25. channelclemente says:

    Wonder if Nick ran this by LeBron?

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  26. ezb230 says:

    The problem with the comparison to the Cubs deal is that E Jackson is 29 (and Sanchez is 28), while Swisher is 32.

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  27. CS Yankee says:

    Was surprised about the signing since the Tribe passed on his dad (Steve) being manager after his successful run as their AAA manager.

    I am a Swish fan, less the rainbow throws and the postseason failures. He is one of the most durable, underrated players in the game…add in the fact his OBP, power, switch-hitting abilites along with his hot wife and things should work out for all.

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  28. Sam says:

    Good! The indians need some life and this guy sounds like he can bring it!

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  29. Romogenized Panik says:

    I once saw a drunken Swisher autograph a woman’s breasts outside a bar in the bay area while he was with the A’s. f that’s not winning over a replacement player I don’t know what it.

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  30. a says:

    I’m from Columbus. Moving to Cleveland would not be “going home” for me. Why do people make this weird assertion? It’s not like Columbus and Cleveland are particularly close to each other (not to mention Cleveland’s general inferiority to most cities…).

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