As Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported earlier today, the Indians are exploring their options and may trade Nick Swisher "for another player with an inflated contract". 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.
Swisher, who turns 34 next week, has $30 million remaining on the four-year contract that he signed with Cleveland two winters ago. He will likely draw interest from multiple teams looking to add outfield depth and a solid clubhouse presence, and the Yankees' familiarity with him from his four-year stint may ignite a reunion between the sides.
Though the Yankees have Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran in their outfield, the addition of Swisher could take some of the load off of an aging Beltran. Swisher's ability to play first base could be enticing to the Yankees, who are probably looking to give Mark Teixeira some rest next year as well.
As reported by Bruce Levine of CBSChicago.com this afternoon, the Cubs have also inquired on Swisher and are likely to try to acquire him as they look to add a veteran outfielder this winter. A trade involving Edwin Jackson, who has been linked to the Indians in the past, could be possible due to Jackson's inflated contract and regressing performance over the last couple of seasons.
Swisher does have some no-trade protection in his contract, with sources indicating that he can block deals to the Blue Jays. Interestingly, the Jays are on the lookout for outfield help in the wake of the departure of free-agent Melky Cabrera.