Swihart signed a one-year, $910,000 contract with the Red Sox on Friday to avoid arbitration, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports. Swihart avoids arbitration in the first year he is eligible as he is set to begin 2019 as reserve catcher and utility man. The 26-year-old slashed .229/.285/.328 with three home runs in 207 plate appearances last season. Sandy Leon and Christian Vasquez should head into spring training with a leg up on the starting spot at catcher but had similar offensive struggles last season, which could allow Swihart to factor into the timeshare behind the plate in 2019.
Swihart is out of the lineup Sunday against the Indians, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. Swihart had started each of the Red Sox's last three games, with his assignments coming at first base, in right field and behind the plate. The 26-year-old's versatility bodes well for his odds of finding steady at-bats during the final week of the regular season, but he'll likely retreat to the bench on a full-time basis once the playoffs get underway.
Swihart went 1-for-5 with a two-run double in Wednesday's 9-8 win over Atlanta. Swihart was part of a six-run eighth inning that brought the Red Sox back from a 7-1 deficit. He got the start in right field as his starting opportunities at catcher will dry up with the return of Christian Vazquez. Manager Alex Cora will move him around, from catcher to first base to outfield to DH, but the cadence of his starting assignments will be reduced.
Swihart, who replaced the injured Mitch Moreland (knee) at first base in the first inning, went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored in Thursday's win over the Indians. Swihart put the Red Sox on the board and broke the 0-0 tie with his two-run double in the fifth inning. He added a single in the sixth inning, marking his first multi-hit game in seven appearances this month. Should Moreland ultimately require a stint on the disabled list, Swihart and Steve Pearce would be the leading candidates to fill in at first base.
Swihart (hamstring) was activated from the 10-day disabled list Tuesday. As expected, Swihart is back with the big club after missing the minimum 10 days with right hamstring tightness. The backstop is hitting .226/.288/.304 through 51 games this season. Dan Butler was designated for assignment to make room for Swihart.