There wasn’t much hope for Nick Swisher‘s season but the Indians made it official today, announcing that he underwent surgery on both knees. On the bright side, the eight to 10 weeks of recovery should allow him to return to full health by the end of October, giving him a full offseason to work to recover from his disappointing 2014 campaign.
Nick Swisher is undergoing surgery today +Dr Neil ElAttrache performed an arthroscopic debridement in both knees. Full recovery is 8-10 wks
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 20, 2014
Swisher ends his miserable season with a .208 batting average, the eighth worst in franchise history and the lowest since Dave Duncan (who went on to become Tony LaRussa’s longtime pitching coach) hit an even .200 in 1974.
Swisher is still owed $30 million over the next two seasons guaranteed, and has a vesting option for 2017 which will be easy to achieve so long as he stays healthy.
The bad news of Swisher’s contract is obvious: it’s a ton of money for a player who didn’t come close to earning it this season. The good news is the vesting option, which gives him $14 million reasons to work hard to stay in shape. He obviously won’t come close to another $14 million contract if he fails to earn that vesting option, so there’s a nice incentive for him to work hard to remain productive as his career winds down.
As frustrating as Swisher was this year, I hope the fans don’t turn on him too soon. We may have a lot of Swisher left to endure, and it would certainly help to keep him happy and motivated.