Kyle Schwarber, who was dealt to the Boston Red Sox from the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline, has been predicted to land with the Philadelphia Phillies in the offseason, per Audacy Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman.
Heyman recently appeared on the “Big Time Baseball" podcast, and discussed some possible destinations for free agents this winter. Heyman predicted that the former Washington National Schwarber could land in Philadelphia in the offseason as a result of the club hiring his former hitting coach in Kevin Long.
“…you mentioned Schwarber … who is obviously an ex-Cub … he did come to the Red Sox via the Nats, you can’t forget that. I’m gonna concentrate on the fact that he was with the Nats more than the Cubs and say that Kevin Long helped him improve his swing and he really took off as a member of the Nats and he continued that as a member of the Red Sox. I’m gonna say—now that Kevin Long is the hitting coach of the Phillies—that Schwarber winds up with the Phillies."
Heyman raises a solid point in that Long aided in improving Schwarber's swing during his stint with the Nationals. From June 19 to June 29, Schwarber went on a home run tear, tying a MLB modern record with 12 homers in 10 games. Schwarber's performance earned him a spot in his first MLB All-Star Game.
In 113 games between the Nationals and Red Sox in 2021, Schwarber hit .266/.374/.554 with an OPS of .928, 32 home runs, 71 RBI, and 64 walks.
Schwarber arrived in Washington after the Chicago Cubs non-tendered him after he hit just .188/.308/.393 in 59 games in 2020. The Nationals signed him to a one-yr/$10 million deal last offseason before cleaning house at the 2021 trade deadline and shipping him to Boston.
It's unclear where Schwarber would fit in with Boston moving forward, as the designated hitter is already taken care of in J.D. Martinez, and it's unlikely he splits time between first base and left field in the long run. So, aside from his ties to Long, Schwarber would make sense for the Phillies in two possible scenarios.
Should the designated hitter make its way to the National League, Schwarber could see a bulk of games in that spot in the lineup, splitting time with the likes of Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper, or J.T. Realmuto.
The 28-year-old could also replace the 35-year-old Andrew McCutchen in left field, since Cutch is likely on his way out this offseason. However, Schwarber isn't much of an improvement defensively, as he produced -5 defensive runs saved in 724 innings in left field in 2021, and one of the Phillies main priorities should be revamping their defense.
Whether Schwarber fits the role of a "middle-of-the-order" bat as President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski cited in his Oct. 6 press conference as a need for the team this offseason remains to be seen.
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