A lot is riding on this offseason for the Chicago Cubs. According to Jed Hoyer and ownership, the team is not embarking on a lengthy rebuild and both have been vocal about having the money to spend this winter. If all goes smoothly, the team should be much closer to fielding competent roster in 2022.
Besides free agency, other factors will determine the team’s fate in 2022. One of those things is the position of other teams in the National League Central and how those clubs go about their business this winter. Enter: the Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee is going into this offseason looking to give their offense some oomph. This year’s free-agent class is loaded with an abundance of talented hitters, and one of the bats that the team will surely target is former Cub Kyle Schwarber.
Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber could be just what the Brewers need
Out of all the accomplished hitters on the market this offseason, Kyle Schwarber is someone who made a name for himself in 2021. Not only was he fantastic down the stretch during the regular season, but he also had an impressive postseason run. With that being said, Schwarber is undoubtedly in line for a big payday this offseason, assuming he declines his end of a mutual option.
The 28-year-old Schwarber has played left field throughout his career and gave first base a try this year for Boston. However, it should be noted that the Brewers already have a superstar left fielder in Christian Yelich. So, this could make the potential pursuit of Schwarber unlikely unless they try him at first, just as Boston did. Of course, that would all change if the DH comes to the NL in the new CBA.
A universal designated hitter would allow the Brewers, or any National League team, to bring in Schwarber purely for his bat. Like I said before, the Brewers are looking for an offensive boost. Adding the DH to the NL would allow the addition of Schwarber, purely as a left-handed hitter. Last season, Schwarber spent half the season with Washington until he was traded to Boston. With the Nationals, Schwarber slashed .253/.340/.570 and, with the Red Sox, he slashed .291/.435/.522.
Not only that, Schwarber had a .910 OPS with Washington, and after he was traded to Boston, he had a .957 OPS and hit 10 homers (three of which were during the Red Sox’ postseason run). Before Schwarber found himself with Washington, the Chicago Cubs non-tendered Schwarber. This decision came following an unsuccessful 2020 season where Schwarber’s batting average was .188, amongst other struggles.
Just imagine if the Cubs did not non-tender Schwarber – things might have been different. But with things being the way that they are, the rival Brewers, or any NL Central team have a shot at him. Schwarber will surely be in high demand this offseason, so it was definitely interesting to see where he lands. Hopefully, wherever that might be doesn’t end up hurting the Chicago Cubs.