Anthony Ray Swarzak
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 225 lb.
- High School Nova High School
- Debut May 23, 2009
Swarzak made his major league debut with the Twins in 2009, when he went 3-7, 6.25 in 12 starts. He then spent all of 2010 in the minor leagues before coming back as a swingman in 2011. That season, he was 4-7, 4.32 in 27 games, including 11 starts, pitching 102 innings. His ability to pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen and give the team the occasional start came in handy again the next year, 2012, when he made 5 starts in 44 appearances and ended up at 3-6, 5.03, logging 96 2/3 innings. He was strictly used as a long reliever in 2013 and had his best year thus far, finishing at 3-2, 2.91, and logging 96 innings in relief, one of the highest totals in the majors. He was back in the same role in 2014 and made his first 30 appearances out of the bullpen before being called upon for an emergency start against the Cleveland Indians on July 23rd when Kyle Gibson was scratched because of stiffness in his lower back. In spite of working with a low pitch count limit, he pitched 5 excellent innings, allowing a single run on two hits, to earn a 3-1 win in his first start in a year-and-a-half. he finished the 2014 season at 3-2, 4.60 in 50 games including 4 starts.
After playing his first five major league seasons with the Twins, Swarzak signed with the Cleveland Indians as a free agent before the 2015 season, but he only pitched 10 times, all in relief, with no decisions and an ERA of 3.38. In 2016, he pitched 26 times for the New York Yankees, going 1-2, 5.52. Not much was expected when he joined the Chicago White Sox as a free agent before the 2017 season, but he turned out to be one of the best middle relievers in the majors that year, going 4-3, 2.23 in 48 games before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers at the trading deadline in return for minor leaguer Ryan Cordell. He continued to do very well with the Brew Crew, with an ERA of 2.48 in 29 games, to end the season a combined 6-4, 2.33 in 70 appearances with 2 saves, 27 holds and 91 Ks in 77 1/3 innings. Having demonstrated that he could be a very valuable reliever, he cashed in by signing a two-year deal with the New York Mets on December 13th worth $14 million.
Swarzak's first season with the Mets was a let-down, however, as he went 0-2, 6.15 in 29 games with 4 saves, pitching just 26 1/3 innings. After the season, the Mets bundled his contract with that of another free agent disappointment, Jay Bruce, along with three prospects - Gerson Bautista, Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic - in order to land 2B Robinson Cano and his huge contract and P Edwin Diaz from the Seattle Mariners in a blockbuster trade. He started the 2019 season in Seattle going 2-2, 5.27 with 3 saves in 15 games. On May 20th, he was traded again, this time to the Atlanta Braves in return for Jesse Biddle and Arodys Vizcaino.