For the past two years, Kyle Schwarber has been one of the most polarizing figures for the Chicago Cubs and he remains a potential trade chip.
Fans were in awe of his majestic home runs during his rookie season in 2015, and his heroic World Series return in 2016 after suffering a torn ACL in April of the same year made him somewhat of a legend among Chicago Cubs fans.
But Schwarber endured a tumultuous 2017 that, at one point, saw him demoted to Triple-A Iowa. Despite turning in his best all-around season yet in 2018, many fans are beginning to wonder if his talent has plateaued.
Schwarber saw an increase in his walk rate and subsequent decrease in his strikeout rate while his wRC+ rose from 103 in 2017 to 115 in 2018, according to FanGraphs. He also tied with Lorenzo Cain for the most outfield assists in the National League and showed marked improvement with the glove.
However, the former number four overall pick hit four fewer home runs despite notching 24 more plate appearances, while also struggling to make an impact in leveraged hitting situations.
It is no secret that Schwarber has been considered a trade piece for the past couple of years, particularly for American League teams that could choose to slot him into their lineup as a designated hitter.
Interestingly enough, there is a deal the Cubs could make involving an American League club that is likely to lose their DH to free agency and actively looking to rebuild.