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Indians add Swisher

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Nick Swisher is headed back home.

The Cleveland Indians officially signed the Ohio native on Thursday to a four-year contract through 2016 with a vesting option for the 2017 season.

"We wanted to go somewhere where we were going to be wanted and loved, and the Indians showed that," an elated Swisher said during a press conference. "I couldn't be more honored to play for my hometown team and I'm just ready to get going."

Swisher was born in Columbus and attended Ohio State University from 2000-02, earning All-Big Ten honors during his sophomore and junior seasons.

The 32-year-old veteran spent the past four seasons with the Yankees and helped New York to its last World Series title in 2009. He batted .272 with 24 homers and 93 runs batted in last season.

A fan favorite for much of his four years in the Bronx, Swisher was unhappy after Yankee fans again criticized his lack of postseason success. He was just 5-for-30 in eight playoff games in 2012, and batted just .162 in 36 postseason games for the Yankees.

Swisher is a career .256 hitter with 209 homers, 673 RBI and a .361 on-base percentage in 1,209 games over nine big league seasons. He broke in with Oakland in 2004 and spent four seasons with the Athletics before playing one year with the White Sox.

Swisher made the 2010 American League All Star team and is one of three AL players, along with Paul Konerko and David Ortiz, to hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last eight seasons.

"Nick complements our lineup extremely well from both sides of the plate," Indians vice president/general manager Chris Antonetti said. "I don't think we could have found a better player for our team. It's an exciting move organizationally."

Boston, Texas and Seattle were also in the bidding for Swisher, who has belted at least 20 homers in each of his eight full big league seasons.

1/3/2013 4:34:26 PM

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