A potential free-agency loophole

Updated: December 24, 2012, 12:34 PM ET
By Buster Olney

Nick Swisher tweeted that he's going home, after finishing his four-year, $56 million deal with the Cleveland Indians. But the fact that Swisher attended Ohio State was only part of the reason the Indians pursued him so aggressively. He is a good hitter who consistently gets on base and generates power, and his energy is relentless, an intangible that helps teams get through the natural lulls in the long schedule. The New York Yankees, who won a championship with Swisher in 2009, will miss that element next season.

But the fact is that Swisher appears to have had no other options, because of what seems to be the unanticipated consequences of baseball's new rules; he is among a group of players whose free agency has been sabotaged by the new parameters. And what some executives are already anticipating is that between now and the start of the baseball season, there will be an effort to find a rule loophole for players like Rafael Soriano, Kyle Lohse and Michael Bourn.