Though Nick Swisher knew his time was almost certainly over with the Yankees when last season ended, he still thought the team would contact him when he became a free agent.

That didn’t happen.

“It hurt,” Swisher said before facing the Yankees for the first time with the Indians yesterday, losing 11-6 in the home opener at Progressive Field.

“When you are in a place for four years, that’s a long time in baseball years. You develop some relationships, and sometimes when you leave, that’s not what you want to do. But the way Cleveland has come in and approached the situation and just treated me like a king, I could not be more honored.”

The Yankees, trying to get their payroll under $189 million next year, were not interested in signing Swisher to a multi-year deal.

“When it boils down to it, they didn’t come to me,” said Swisher, who played first and went 1-for-3 with a run scored. “They didn’t even offer anything. So in a situation like that, as much as I loved that city and as hard as it was for me to leave, I had to do what was best for my family and myself.”

He landed in Cleveland, where he got a four-year deal worth $56 million that could increase to five years and $70 million.