The latest Cubs rumors suggest the team might non-tender Kyle Schwarber.
On Monday, we heard Cubs rumors that seem to indicate the team will continue to listed to trade offers for former NL MVP Kris Bryant – but will also tender him a contract ahead of the Dec. 2 deadline. While Bryant appears safe (for now), his teammate Kyle Schwarber may not be as fortunate.
Per Jon Heyman, both Schwarber and Albert Almora have a ‘chance’ of being non-tendered. In my eyes, Almora is about as close to a sure-thing as you can get. His struggles over the last few seasons, paired with declining glove work, are enough to go in a different direction. As for Schwarber, though, this is one of the toughest decisions the team has faced in recent memory.
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The former first-round pick struggled in every regard this year, even getting benched by David Ross at one point for what was perceived as a lack of hustle. That won’t be the make-or-break in this decision. Rather, it will come down to how the team evaluates his offensive contributions and approach.
Of course, this decision would be viewed through a totally different lens if MLB did their due diligence and let teams know what the landscape as far as the DH will look like in 2021. But who are we kidding? That was never going to happen. Now, teams have to make these decisions without clarity – and this one in particular is challenging for the Cubs.
If the designated hitter were to return in 2021, Schwarber makes sense in that role. You could add a more contact-oriented presence to handle left field and hope Schwarber gets back to what he did in the second half of the 2019 campaign, when he was one of the best hitters in baseball.
But if Jed Hoyer and the front office look at Schwarber, decide he doesn’t bring what they need offensively, a non-tender is very much in the cards. Pair that possibility with the fact the team is facing a financial shortfall due to the pandemic this year and, again, a decision that might not even be considered otherwise is on the table.
Like in any move including Bryant, the Cubs would be selling low (or flat-out giving up) on Schwarber here. The organization is seeking change with the roster and especially the offense, so this probably won’t be the last tough Cubs rumors we see the front office grappling with this winter.