Swisher agrees to 5-year, $26.75M deal with Athletics

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Nick Swisher and the Oakland Athletics
agreed Friday on a $26.75 million, five-year contract that also
includes a one-year club option for 2012.

Nick Swisher Swisher

Swisher is hitting .280 with six home runs and 17 RBIs.

The 26-year-old Swisher hit .254 with 35 home runs and 95 RBIs
last season in helping the A's reach the AL championship series. He
became the first player in Oakland history to start at least 70
games in two different positions in the same year -- 80 at first
base and 71 in left field.

"This lends us some stability with the club as we move forward
into the new stadium," A's GM Billy Beane said. "He does things
offensively we'd like everybody to do. He takes a lot of walks and
hits a lot of home runs."

Swisher was drafted in the first round by the Athletics in 2002
and made his major league debut two years later. He has 64 career
home runs, the most by a switch-hitter in franchise history.

"Any time one of your key players is happy where he is, he'll
perform better," A's manager Bob Geren said. "He has the ability
to control the strike zone, has power from both sides of the plate
and is potentially a Gold Glove winner at first."

The new contract, which includes a $500,000 signing bonus, gives
the A's four players signed through at least 2009. Swisher joins
Eric Chavez (2010), Dan Haren (2009) and Bobby Crosby (2009).

Swisher will earn $700,000 this year, $3.5 million in 2008, $5.3
million in 2009, $6.75 million in 2010 and $9 million in 2011. The
club option is worth $10.25 million, with a $1 million buyout.

He also has a limited no-trade option in which he can designate
six teams to where he will not go during the final guaranteed year
and the option year.

If Swisher finishes among the top five in the MVP voting in any
year through 2011, his club option increases to $12 million.