The Indians have tentatively scheduled a late afternoon news conference today to officially announce the acquisition of free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher.
Cleveland reportedly reached an agreement Dec. 23 with Swisher on a four-year contract worth $56 million. All that was left was for Swisher, 32, to pass a physical examination for the deal to become official. He was expected to undergo one this morning in Cleveland.
Swisher, a former Ohio State University star, is likely to open the 2013 season in right field after the departure of Shin-Soo Choo, who was dealt to the Reds in a three-team trade with Arizona on Dec. 12.
The eight-year veteran hit .272 with 24 home runs and 93 RBIs in 148 games for the Yankees last year – his fourth season in New York. He’s averaged just over 26 homers and 87 RBIs per season over the last four years.
In other Indians news, Cleveland re-acquired Russ Canzler, claiming the infielder/outfielder off waivers from Toronto on Wednesday. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Indians designated right-hander Jeanmar Gomez for assignment.
Canzler, 26, was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for first baseman Mark Reynolds and claimed by Toronto on Dec. 21. He spent the majority of last season at Triple-A Columbus, batting .265 with 22 homers and 79 RBIs in 130 games. Canzler was a September callup, hitting .269 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 26 games for the Indians.
With Swisher and newly-acquired right-hander Brett Myers set to join the roster following physicals, Cleveland will have to drop two players from the 40-man. If Canzler survives, he would be a strong candidate to replace Travis Hafner as the team’s primary designated hitter at this point.