April 13th: Swisher’s minor league deal is official, reports Mark Feinsand. That means he passed the physical, which was no sure thing given his recent knee issues. Apparently three other teams were after him too. Feinsand says Swisher will join Triple-A Scranton and be in the lineup tomorrow.
“We believe in having depth in our organization,” said Joe Girardi to reporters the other day. “Swish was a good player, and has been a good player for a long time. If one of our guys was to go down, we don’t necessarily have a true first baseman. Swish is a guy that could do that, or he could play the outfield.”
April 9th: The recently released Nick Swisher is working out in Tampa and expected to sign a minor league deal with the Yankees, the team says. Swisher was released by the rebuilding Braves during Spring Training because they had no place for him on their roster.
“The fact they let me come out here and work is great. It keeps me in the game, keeps me going strong, and I appreciate that. This place is like family,” said Swisher to Mark Didtler earlier today. “I still feel like I can do this.”
Swisher, 35, is primarily a first baseman these days after having surgery on both knees back in 2014. His mobility in the outfield is pretty much gone. Greg Bird is out for the season following shoulder surgery, and the Yankees currently have Chris Parmelee as first base depth in Triple-A.
Assuming the deal gets done, Swisher figures to head to Triple-A Scranton for a few weeks to show he’s healthy and productive. Chances are his contract will include some kind of opt-out date in which the team either has to call him up or cut him loose. That’s pretty standard in these situations.
Swisher has hit .204/.291/.326 (75 wRC+) the last two years. His $15M salary is being paid by the Indians and Braves, so the Yankees or any other team can sign him for a pro-rated portion of the league minimum. Low cost, no risk.
Swisher was super productive during his time with the Yankees from 2009-12, but right now expectations are low. He hasn’t been good since leaving New York.