Nick Swisher is the latest beneficiary of the ridiculously overinflated MLB free agent market
Believe it or not, he ended up with the Cleveland Indians, who ended up wooing him with a 4 year contract worth $56 million. There's also a vesting option that would tack on an additional year for $14M.
Thanks to the Yankees' $13.3M qualifying offer, Swisher would have cost a first round draft pick for the team that eventually signed him.
That scared off teams like the Red Sox and Rangers, who would have been more interested if they didn't have to give up the pick.
The Indians' first round pick is protected, however, so they were more than happy to jump right into things with Swisher, and gave him quite the substantial contract.
Some people are already speculating that this could be a sign that further financial restrictions are no longer necessary, since the Yankees' budget has been a bit smaller, and a team like the Indians outbid everyone else for Swisher's services.
In reality, this will most likely be a textbook example of why baseball DOES need further financial equality rules.
The Yankees are basically taking a year off to avoid the luxury tax, but they'll be back spending again next year.
If they had signed Swisher (or someone else) to a bad contract, they can just throw more money after it, like they did this year with Kevin Youkilis ($12M) temporarily replacing Alex Rodriguez ($28M) while A-Rod recovers from surgery.
The Indians, on the other hand, will be completely screwed if Swisher doesn't perform up to his deal.
We'll see if he ends up being worth the money.