Chicago Cubs: Where does Kyle Schwarber fit in the team’s long-term plans?

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

After a breakout second half performance, slugging outfielder Kyle Schwarber played his way into the long-term plans of the Chicago Cubs.

This offseason will likely be as tumultuous as any in recent memory for the Chicago Cubs. Coming off an 84-win 2019 performance, the clock is ticking for this championship window. The most pressing task for Theo Epstein and the front office? Find the perfect successor to Joe Maddon – no easy task. Once that’s done, Chicago faces the tall order of fixing a broken roster.

Several prominent members of this year’s club are poised to hit the open market, including Nicholas Castellanos, Ben Zobrist and Pedro Strop. Most folks (myself included) would love to see Castellanos back with the team for the foreseeable future, but after his tremendous second half, he’ll undoubtedly fetch a pretty price in free agency. The good news? He’s not the only Cubs outfielder to turn in a monster late-season performance.

Kyle Schwarber wasn’t just the best offensive player on the Cubs – he was one of the most valuable players in all of baseball down the stretch. According to Fangraphs, Schwarber’s 177 wRC+ in the month of September ranked fourth among NL players. Something clicked – in a big way – so much so that it’s now almost inconceivable the former first-rounder isn’t back with Chicago in 2020.