The Cleveland Indians announced Thursday the club has signed free agent Nick Swisher to a four-year Major League contract with a vesting option for the 2017 season.
Swisher, 32, owns a career Major League batting average of .256 (1085-4241) with 251 doubles, 9 triples, 209 home runs and 673 RBI in 1209 games over nine seasons with the Oakland A's, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees since 2004.
He also owns a career on-base pct. of .361, having drawn 669 walks and placing in the top 10 in the American League in free passes six times in his nine-year career. The 2010 American League All-Star is one of just three American Leaguers to hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last eight seasons (2005-12), joining Paul Konerko and David Ortiz.
The Parkersburg, West Virginia native completed his fourth season with the New York Yankees in 2012, hitting .272 (146-537) with 36 doubles, 24HR and 93 RBI in 148 games (.364OB/.473SLG/.837OPS). The 93 RBI represented the second highest single-season total of his career as he finished 8th in the AL in walks (77), 13th in RBI (93), 15th in doubles, 17th in on-base pct (.364) and 19th in OPS (.837).
During his fourth campaign with the Yankees he collected his 200th home run and 1000th base hit of his Major League career.
Swisher was born in Columbus and played his college ball at The Ohio State University from 2000-02, earning All-Big 10 honors during his sophomore and junior campaigns and finished his Buckeye career tied for 4th in career home runs (35).
He began his professional career in 2002 after being selected by Oakland in the first round (16th overall) of the draft. The baseball field at Ohio State University was recently dedicated in his honor (Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium) after his purchase of an all-turf playing surface in November 2011.
His father, Steve, enjoyed a nine-year Major League career from 1974-82, was a National League All-Star in 1976 and attended Ohio University.
Nick and his wife, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, are very active in the community, having founded "Swish's Wishes" in 2007 to assist children with life-threatening illnesses and recently making several USO-sponsored trips visit troops and families stationed in Afghanistan and Europe.
The Swisher's are donating at least $400,000 to Cleveland Indians Charities during the life of the contract.
MOST SWITCH-HIT HOME RUNS, 2006-2012
1. Mark Teixeira 231
2. Nick SWISHER 186
3 Lance Berkman 180
4. Carlos Beltran 172
MOST MLB WALKS, 2006-12
1. Adam Dunn 708
2 Prince Fielder 649
3 Albert Pujols 626
4. Nick SWISHER 606
5 David Ortiz 590