April 05, 2020

Swift thinks he can still pitch in majors> Former Bear works out for several teams

It’s back to the tryout stage for Bill Swift.

The former University of Maine All-American and National League Cy Young Award runner-up in 1993 was released by Colorado last August after an injury-marred three-year stint with the Rockies.

“I threw for the [Arizona] Diamondbacks last Thursday and for Detroit, Pittsburgh, the [Anaheim] Angels, [San Diego] Padres, and [San Francisco] Giants today,” said the 36-year-old pitcher Thursday. “I felt great today. I thought I threw pretty well. They had me at 88 [miles-per-hour] pretty consistently on the gun. That’s pretty good for me. My sinker was good. Everything was good.”

Swift said the Diamondbacks had him at 81 mph last week, but he said, “They must have had a bad gun. I threw the same way last week as I did today.”

Swift would like a one-year contract and knows his salary will be a far cry from what he received in his last contract. He signed a three-year deal worth $13.1 million with the Rockies in 1995.

His next contract will likely be top-heavy in incentives, but it doesn’t matter to him.

“The money isn’t a problem,” said Swift, who had five small tears in his pectoral muscle that disabled him for much of last season. “I think I can still pitch. I feel good. We’ll see. If it works out, it works out.”

Swift said he won’t pitch in Class AAA and would like to stay with a team that has its spring training in Arizona since he has a home in Scottsdale and wife Michelle just gave birth to their third daughter, Brynlie, nine weeks ago.

He said it doesn’t matter if he starts or relieves. He has done both since he broke into the majors with the Seattle Mariners in 1985.

“Pitching out of the bullpen might even be better for me. To pitch three times a week and be healthy would be great,” said Swift, who is 83-69 with 27 saves and a 3.76 earned run average during his career.

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