Indians Would Like To Trade Nick Swisher, Mariners An Option


With the recent acquisition of Brandon Moss from the Oakland Athletics, the Cleveland Indians are now looking to move Nick Swisher according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

While Cafardo notes that the Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles, Padres, Brewers and Cubs may all be interested for the right price, I argue that the Seattle Mariners could end up being a dark horse team for Swisher’s services.

The 34-year old had a down year in 2014 but could thrive given the right circumstances in 2015. Those circumstances would be a platoon situation in right field, in a park where he has had success.

In 51 career games at Safeco Field, Swisher owns a .281/.371/.521 slash line with 12 homers and 30 RBI. That’s a 19 homer pace for an 81 game home schedule at Safeco.

And as a switch hitter, he gives the Mariners flexibility to keep him in the lineup if Justin Ruggiano goes down with an injury. And, he can also fill in at first base if Logan Morrison struggles or gets injured. The Mariners do not currently have a backup first baseman on the projected 25-man roster, except Willie Bloomquist.

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One big question mark comes from the salary angle. Swisher is owed $15 million in each of the next two seasons, which is a gamble given his recent knee issues. However, the Indians will more than likely be asked to cover some of his remaining salary – he also has a $14M vesting option for 2017 (2017 option vests with 550 plate appearances in 2016 and passing of physical ).

So what would it cost to land Swisher from the Indians? It depends on what is being offered by other clubs and how much money Cleveland is expected to eat.

The Indians could be in the market for a shortstop, unless they are happy with Jose Ramirez and confident he can take the role full time. They are also looking for bullpen pieces. If the Mariners offered up one piece, they would probably have to take on a majority of the salary. If they gave up two pieces, the Indians would probably be willing to eat some of the money.

Let’s say Brandon Maurer (could be used as a starter or reliever for the Tribe) for Swisher straight up, no money exchanged. Or Brandon Maurer and a prospect (Ketel Marte perhaps) and the Indians offer up $10 million of the remaining $30 million guaranteed salary.

What do you think Mariners fans? Would you make this move? What would you offer up to get Swisher? Do you even want him? The options are getting thinner and thinner. Swisher may not be ideal, but he fills two needs (RF platoon and backup 1B).