The Cleveland Indians' pitch to bring Nick Swisher "home" worked.
Two people familiar with the negotiations said Swisher has agreed to a $56 million, four-year contract with the Indians, who used the free agent outfielder's deep Ohio connections to persuade him to join the club. The people spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because Swisher must take a physical before the deal can be finalized. The Indians are expected to announce Swisher's signing after Christmas, one of the people said.
The Indians will not comment until Swisher completes his physical.
"Wow! What a crazy few weeks," Swisher said on Twitter. "Hey Cleveland! Are you ready? Because I'm coming home!"
The 32-year-old Swisher, the last quality corner outfielder on the free-agent market, spent the last four seasons with the New York Yankees, taking advantage of the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium. A switch-hitter, Swisher hit .272 this past season with 24 homers and 93 RBIs.
Swisher will fill an outfield hole for the Indians, who traded Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati.
Swisher was born in Columbus and played at Ohio State.
The Indians also agreed to terms with lefthander Scott Kazmir on a minor-league deal this week, pending a physical.
Freel found dead
Former major-leaguer Ryan Freel was found dead in his Florida home, and authorities are investigating his death as a possible suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesman Shannon Hartley said Sunday that the 36-year-old Freel's body was found at his Jacksonville home Saturday afternoon. The medical examiner will make the final determination of the cause of death.
The career of the speedy Freel was cut short after eight seasons by head injuries. He spent six of his eight big-league seasons with the Cincinnati Reds.