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Yankees rumors: Yanks possibly interested in a Nick Swisher reunion?

With the Indians seeking to trade him, could Swish end up back in the Bronx?

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Here's a bit of an odd rumor that emerged late last night--the Yankees might want Nick Swisher to return to Yankee Stadium in pinstripes. From MLB Daily Dish:

A major-league source suggested this evening that he could see Swisher going back to the Yankees in a trade, considering that the Yankees are looking for outfield help this winter.

Ken Rosenthal already reported that the Indians are exploring possible trades involving Swisher, who left the Yankees via free agency after the 2012 season for a four-year, $56 million deal with Cleveland. That news isn't very surprising since Swisher had the worst season of his career in 2014, but what makes it interesting is that the Indians might be interested in a "bad contract for bad contract" swap. That's likely what draws the Yankees' interest, if it is indeed there.

When "sources" say things as vague as they "could see" something happening, that means such a wide variety of actual possible events. For all we know, the source is just spitballing and suggesting things that entered his mind. In the event that he's actually spoken to people with the Yankees and leaking possible interest though, a Swisher reunion certainly carries some intrigue.

In 2013, Swisher did his share to live up to his contract, hitting .246/.341/.423 with a 115 OPS+ and his ninth straight 20-homer season. He was a big reason why the Indians snapped a six-year playoff drought and earned a Wild Card spot. His successful year juxtaposed with the Yankees missing the playoffs made many fans upset that the Yankees let him go without much pursuit. However, those sentiments probably faded quickly in 2014. Swisher hyperextended his knee in mid-May, and it ailed him throughout the season, as he badly struggled to a .208/.278/.331 triple slash, a career-low 74 OPS+. He was only hit eight homers, easily his lowest total as a big league regular, and he was limited to 97 games. Swisher's season ended after August 9th, as he underwent knee surgery to remedy the injury.

Even though Swisher's ability to cover both right field (somewhat) and first base could be useful to the Yankees, it's difficult to see reacquiring Swisher making much sense for them at this point. The soon-to-be 34-year-old is unlikely to be as awful as he was in 2014, but how does he fit on this team? With right field, first base, and DH likely covered by some amalgamation of Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Martin Prado, and Chris Young, I don't understand acquiring a player who is owed $30 million over the next two years.

The only it would make sense for me is if the Indians are willing to eat a lot of the contract, or if they're indeed willing to take one of the bad contracts off the Yankees' hands. I doubt it would happen since those types of "change of scenery" trades don't seem to occur very often, but if the trade was just Swisher-for-Beltran, Swisher-for-Teixeira, or Swisher-for- CC Sabathia, then sure, that deserves some careful thought. All have no-trade clauses though, so the point is likely moot. (In some alternate dimension, A-Rod for Swisher is a thing and I'm laughing my ass off.)

I can't see the Indians being that interested in acquiring any of those pricey players though, so this rumor probably isn't going anywhere. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to explore the wonders of that A-Rod for Swisher dimension now.

What's that? Sal Fasano is manager and he has a "mandatory Fu Manchu" rule? Rollerblading Mark Teixeira and Jason Giambi serve as mid-inning entertainment? I could get used to this.