Chicago Cubs: 5 bold moves to turn the team into World Series contenders
By Bill Quinn
Chicago Cubs: Could Kyle Schwarber come back into the fold?
Look, the Cubs are not going to bring back all the guys they traded away – it’s just not going to happen. However, there is a chance they could sign back a guy, and maybe that guy isn’t even someone who played for them this past year. Maybe it’s a guy like, say, Kyle Schwarber.
Jettisoned in a cost-cutting move last offseason that now looks really, really stupid in retrospect, Schwarber went out and did what we thought he was always capable of in 2021. We knew this would happen as soon as the Cubs let him go. Now, he’s gonna get paid; hopefully by the Cubs.
And, here’s where this isn’t just a reclamation of what was once theirs. If we chuck the 2020 season that wasn’t even really a season due to the pandemic (and let’s face it, a ton of really good hitters had crappy years, so it’s not a futile exercise or convenient measure), Schwarber has seen his OPS steadily increase through his prime from .823 in 2018 to .871 in 2019 to .928 this season. Even if there’s no increase or a slight decrease from that number, a .900 OPS is All-Star level slugging and on-base skill.
In the midst of his prime at 28 years old, Schwarber has upped his on-base game since joining the Red Sox via trade this summer, posting a ridiculous .435 OBP and even more impressively has walked 33 times to just 39 strikeouts in Beantown. With a proposed DH a possibility in the NL in 2022, this would also give the Cubs flexibility to play Schwarber in left field or DH him in certain games or against certain matchups. Oh, and by the way, it would also still allow for the Cubs’ number one prospect, Brennen Davis, to play out there or DH once he’s ready to play full time in 2022 or 2023. Schwarber may not be part of the Bryzzo tandem or Javy Baez, but plenty of fans would love to see the World Series hero back in the Windy City. Speaking of…