Given their current outfield mix of Jason Heyward, Ian Happ and Rafael Ortega, it stands to reason the Chicago Cubs could be on the hunt for some reinforcements once the ongoing MLB lockout ends. Given fans’ continued focus on reunions with former Cubs, it’s at least worth keeping an eye on the latest surrounding Kyle Schwarber.
According to the Miami Herald, Schwarber is said to be seeking a three-year, $60 million deal. Such a contract would carry the slugger through his age-31 season, potentially setting up him for another massive payday at that point, as well. There’s been intense interest in the former first-rounder, including Miami, Boston, Philadelphia and Colorado, among others.
It’s not hard to see why. We all know the story. After a brutal 2020 showing, the Cubs – desperate to shed payroll in any way possible – non-tendered the 2016 World Series hero, setting him up to go on to sign a one-year, $7 million deal with Washington. At the deadline, the Nationals sent him to the Red Sox – and, all told, he put up the best numbers of his career.
Schwarber blasted 32 home runs and put together a .266/.374/.554 line this season, including a robust .291/.435/.522 line with Boston. Now, he’s looking to capitalize in free agency – and you can come up with a lengthy list of potential fits pretty quickly.
Chicago makes sense, assuming the designated hitter comes to the National League. If you’re Schwarber’s camp, you know that resolution on that front in the form of a new CBA has the potential to only increase a list of suitors.
His defense has never been a strong suit. During his time with the Cubs, he regularly made up for it with his cannon of a right arm. But he’s capable of playing in the outfield and we even saw him get some reps at first with Boston, too. That being said, if you can just pencil him in as your everyday DH and let him hit, it’s scary to think about how impactful he might be over the next three years.
Chicago Cubs need to make a high-AAV, short-term offer to Kyle Schwarber
For Chicago, it’s not about the AAV in the deals they’re giving out this winter. Jed Hoyer remains incredibly wary of long-term contracts. You saw that even in the Marcus Stroman signing, which shocked most insiders with its three-year length (that could be shortened to just two if he opts out after the 2023 season).
So if Schwarber is really only looking for that three-year deal, it stands to reason he could be a fit to return to the North Side in free agency. The Cubs have the dollars to spend and a need that aligns with Schwarber’s strengths. Let’s bring him home.