Indians sign Nick Swisher; Cubs finalize with Edwin Jackson

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

-P- The Indians signed Nick Swisher to a four-year, $56 million deal with a 2017 option that will, essentially, vest if he stays healthy and remains a starter. It's the largest free-agent contract in the Indians' history, and it would be about three times as large as the biggest free agent contract in the Pirates' history. (That would be Russell Martin's.) Swisher has been a very consistent player since his 2008 off year with the White Sox, but given his skill set (he strikes out a fair amount, doesn't hit for terribly high averages and isn't fast) and the fact that the Indians were one of the worst teams in baseball last year, this seems like an odd time for the Indians to go nuts on a free agent who might not even still be good next time they're ready to contend. But hey -- everybody's rich now, and the Indians just signed a TV deal, so whatever, make it rain.

-P- The Cubs finally signed Edwin Jackson, who will get four years and $52 million. I already wrote about the signing here, but his move makes the Cubs a bunch better, not only for 2013 but in the future. Relatedly, Tim wrote last night about the impact of the Astros' departure for the AL West. I think the Pirates will field a more talented team in 2013 than they did in 2012, but the fact that there will be so many fewer weak opponents on their schedule may make it tough for them to show that in the win column. The Astros' departure is good for the Pirates in the long term, but for 2013 it's a shame.

-P- The Mariners have signed Mike Jacobs to a minor-league deal, which of course merely amounts to a perfectly reasonable little transaction involving a player who should provide fans in the Tacoma bleachers with a few souvenirs. Every time I hear about Mike Jacobs, though, I think about this.

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