Now that the signing of Mark Reynolds has become official, Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti can get on with trying to sign outfielder Nick Swisher.
Swisher visited Cleveland on Monday and met with team officials. On Tuesday, Swisher had lunch with former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel and Dustin Fox, a former Buckeye defensive back and current local talk show host who attended Ohio State with Swisher.
Antonetti had little to say about the Swisher visit.
“It was great to meet with him. It gave us a chance to share our thoughts and see where he is at,” Antonetti said.
And where is that? Antonetti didn’t say, nor did he say whether negotiations are over and the Tribe is just waiting for an answer.
Several teams have interest in Swisher, but the Indians’ biggest rival might be the Texas Rangers, who lost Josh Hamilton to the Los Angeles Angels.
If Antonetti fails to land Swisher, who on the current roster might play right field?
“We have Tim Fedroff and Ezequiel Carerra,” Antonetti said. “To a lesser extent, maybe Thomas Neal and there are some non-roster invitees.”
Reynolds, who will play first, was signed to a one-year deal with a guarantee of $6 million and incentives that could push the value to $7.5 million.
“We believe he gives balance to our lineup, because he is right-handed and hits with power,” Antonetti said.
As to the penchant for Reynolds and newly acquired outfielder Drew Stubbs to strike out in bunches (both have led their respective leagues), Antonetti said, “We had the third-fewest strikeouts in the league and scored the least number of runs. ... You have to make choices in constructing a lineup.”
To make room for Reynolds on the 40-man roster, Russ Canzler was designated for assignment.
“We were in a roster crunch and had to clear a spot,” Antonetti said.