By Brad VanFossan
Does the signing of former Yankee and Ohio State Buckeye Nick Swisher truly help the Indians long term, or was it just a move to appease a fan base quickly turning apathetic? Or a fan base that is past that stage in all honesty. But giving $56 million over four years to a pretty good player, with the possibility of it being $70 million over five years, doesn't seem to fit a long term plan, and what is the Indians long term plan at this point? If Swisher is around five years from now, he'll be 37, so technically 36 in the last completed season of his contract as his birthday is in November. To me this just seems a little odd for a club that has tried to get younger, even if somewhat by default.
But this is where fan apathy and media pressure come into play. Last year the Indians were crucified in the media for their lack of action during free agency, especially for failing to sign Josh Willingham, who went on to sign with Minnesota and hit 35 home runs and drove in 110 runs. The Indians were too cheap to give him a third year and thus trotted out below averge minor league players in his outfield position, never quite finding one that could grab it by the horns, but yet those booted off faster than a city boy (gulp) riding a mechanical bull for the first time. I have never done that by the way. But getting back on track, unlike the upcoming season of American Idol, as that looks to be a train wreck and a half, when you fail to make moves, sometimes you are forced into making one that maybe doesn't quite make sense. You can argue that's what happened with Nick Swisher. He might just become Travis Hafner part II, but with more usable human parts.
I like that the Indians made a move, but is making one for the sake of making one the right thing to do? Yes, I like the fact that Swisher is an OSU boy, has charisma, plays hard, and will probably put up good numbers for a couple years of this contract. But, unless the Indians are planning to bring another one or two guys just as good or better than him within the next year or two, and preferably under age 32, than this just has PR stunt written all over it. Here's hoping that the Dolan's continue to write out checks instead of cancel them.