THE INDIANS called upon a proven recruiter to land free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher.
Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was among a group who had lunch Tuesday at Progressive Field with Swisher, who is considering a multiyear contract offer from the Indians. Swisher would fill a hole in rightfield for Cleveland, which traded Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati last week and has been trying to improve a team that collapsed in August and finished 68-94.
Swisher, 32, played his college ball at Ohio State. He spent the past four seasons with the New York Yankees.
He arrived in Cleveland on Monday night and went to dinner with new manager Terry Francona, team president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti. On Tuesday, Swisher and his wife, actress JoAnna Garcia, who is expecting the couple's first child in May, arrived at Progressive Field at 10:15 a.m. and toured the club's family room.
The Indians played a video on their scoreboard that featured current Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and basketball coach Thad Matta, who encouraged Swisher to join the Indians. Swisher was moved by the gesture and didn't expect to see Tressel at lunch in the stadium's Terrace Club.
Tressel won a national title at Ohio State but was forced to resign amid a scandal. His new position is Akron's vice president of strategic engagement.
Swisher is expected to visit with other teams before making a decision. The Phillies, Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco are among the teams who have shown interest.
Also, Cleveland officially signed free-agent first baseman Mark Reynolds to a 1-year, $6 million deal.
Texas reportedly met with Chicago White Sox free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski and his agent, according to two major league sources. The Rangers are looking to beef up their depleted offense by adding a lefthanded power hitter after losing free agent Josh Hamilton to the Los Angeles Angels.
* The Minnesota Twins agreed with righthander Mike Pelfrey on a $4 million, 1-year contract.
Pelfrey, who missed almost all of last season after Tommy John surgery, went 50-54 with a 4.36 ERA in seven seasons with the New York Mets.
* Righthanded reliever Santiago Casilla passed his physical to complete a $15 million, 3-year contract extension with the World Series champion Giants.
* The Oakland Athletics finalized a $6.5 million, 2-year contract with Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, filling a void created by the departures of Cliff Pennington and Stephen Drew.
The A's traded Pennington to Arizona for outfielder Cliff Young in October. On Monday, Drew agreed to a 1-year, $9.5 million deal with Boston.
* Frank Pastore, the former pitcher who became a popular Christian radio show host, has died. He was 55.
Southern California radio station KKLA, which aired Pastore's show, said on its website that he died Monday, nearly a month after he was critically injured in a motorcycle accident.
Pastore pitched for the Cincinnati Reds from 1979 until 1985 and for the Minnesota Twins in 1986.