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You May Have Missed: Nick Swisher Signs With Cleveland Indians

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Merry Christmas!  Busy with the holidays I missed one noteworthy piece of news from Christmas Eve: outfielder Nick Swisher signed with the Cleveland Indians.  Swisher's deal is reportedly for four years and $56 million.  Merry Christmas to him!

Swisher once was thought of as an option for the Phillies, but the talk quickly quieted down as his price rose.  $14 million a season is indeed a lot of money to pay for a bat, but in an offseason when Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli each get $13 million a year, it does not seem too bad.  Of course, the Phillies payroll situation is a different story.

If the Phillies are ineed looking to stay under the luxury tax, they will have to add payroll that has an average annual value of $7 million.    The average annual value of a contract counts against the luxury tax, not the 2013 salary.  So they could not have signed Swisher to say, $7 million in 2013 and then $16.33 million the remaining three years without going over the cap limit.

It looks more and more like the Phillies will piecemeal the 2013 outfield and attempt to trade for a bat at the deadline should they need one.  I personally would have liked to see the Phillies do what the Indians did, which was trade a right fielder for prospects (Shin-Soo Choo) and then sign another one.   It keeps the position covered while adding other pieces.

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