Cubs Rumors: Kyle Schwarber not ruling out return, but ‘ready for new opportuntiy’

(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Kyle Schwarber is leaving the door open for a return to the Chicago Cubs.

After being non-tendered earlier this offseason, free agent outfielder Kyle Schwarber spoke about the decision of the Chicago Cubs and what the future might hold for him.

Schwarber recently participated in the Players Alliance “Pull Up Neighbor” event near his hometown of Middletown, Ohio. After giving back to the community, Schwarber spoke to The Athletic (subcription required) about his future, and didn’t rule out a return to the North Side.

"“It’s the team that drafted me and I grew up with,” Schwarber said. “I won a World Series. I love those guys. It’s Chicago you love that. You just want to keep all doors open.”More from Chicago Cubs NewsCubs: Adrian Sampson is forcing his way into the conversationProjecting the Chicago Cubs bullpen to open the 2023 seasonCubs fans are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnelJustin Steele has evolved into a frontline starter for the CubsThe future of first base is murky right now for the Cubs"

As a fan, it’s definitely tough to see Schwarber and the Cubs part ways, especially when it means getting nothing in return. The front office dropping the ball on not trading Schwarber sooner, or rolling the dice on a bounce back season will always go down one of the biggest “what ifs?” in franchise history. Of course that’s hindsight, and the quickest way to forget about it is if the Cubs figure out the best ways to improve moving forward.

The same goes for Schwarber who understands the decision of being let go is just part of the game. Cubs fans should always hold a special place in their hearts for Schwarber’s heroics in the 2016 World Series. There’s no doubt the Cubs don’t win it all without him, but the harsh reality is that was four years ago, and the regression has led to both sides likely moving on.

"“I guess it’s part of the business side of the game,” Schwarber said. “Being someone who put their heart and soul into it, doing what I was doing for the team, the organization and the city, obviously it stunk at the time, but I’m just ready for a new opportunity.”"

Personally, I would have rather paid Schwarber what he was projected in arbitration for this upcoming season ($8-$9 million) and gambled on a better season than he had in 2020. If the Cubs weren’t in contention, they could have at least traded him at the deadline where other contenders are willing to offer more than they are in a historically slow and uncertain offseason.

At just 27 years old, it’s hard to imagine Schwarber’s best playing days are behind him.

Schwarber last two seasons:

  • 2019: (155 games) .250 BA 38 HR 92 RBI .871 OPS
  • 2020: (59 games) .188 BA 11 HR 24 RBI .701 OPS

Someone is going to sign Schwarber sooner than later. From what we’ve seen thus far from the outfield free agent market, he will likely receive a similar salary from last season ($7.01 million).

Several teams have reportedly expressed their interest in Schwarber, including the Twins, Nationals, Yankees, Blue Jays and Angels. It’s more than likely his market will grow if the designated hitter becomes permanent in the National League.

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Regardless of where he ends up next season, if his next at-bat at Wrigley Field is in a visitor’s uniform, he’ll get a standing ovation. Now let’s hope there’s real fans in attendance to participate.