MLB: Which teams should try to trade for Kyle Schwarber?

The Chicago Cubs may not want to trade Kyle Schwarber while he continues to improve, but their roster needs an overhaul this winter.

Burly left fielder Kyle Schwarber became a postseason cult hero in his first two seasons with the Chicago Cubs.

In 2015, he smashed five home runs and drove in eight runs in nine playoff games. The following year, Schwarber returned from a devastating knee injury suffered in the first week of the regular season to serve as a DH in the World Series where he hit .412/.500/.471 with a double, two RBI and three walks in five games. The Cubs won their first title in over 100 years and Schwarber seemed destined to become a legendary part of a dynasty.

If Schwarber made it look easy as a 22-year-old rookie in the playoffs, his last three regular seasons have been anything but. He has hit just .234/.337/.492 with 59 doubles, 94 home runs and 212 RBI in 421 games. Schwarber was optioned to the minor leagues in 2017 after hitting .171/.295/.378 for the first three months of the year.

Entering his sixth MLB season, the Cubs have also struggled to replicate their postseason successes of 2015 and 2016, leaving them at a crossroads. Schwarber, along with stars Willson Contreras, Kris Bryant and Javy Baez are all available on the trade block for the right price. Baez is reportedly in talks with the club on an extension, while Contreras is almost too valuable to trade. Bryant and Schwarber are the most likely to go.

If the Cubs trade Schwarber this winter, they may be selling high. He hit .269/.348/.589 with 28 home runs and 71 RBI over his final 103 games of the season. That hot finish, however, came after he was hitting .212/.322/.412 on June 1. The Cubs have no way of knowing which Schwarber they’ll get for their final two years of team control, but if a team is willing to offer them elite prospects for the chance to find out for themselves, a trade has to be made.

If the Cubs decide to go in that direction, these five teams should have plenty of interest.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 16: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs hits a three run home run in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on September 16, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

5. Colorado Rockies

Schwarber’s limited defensive value mostly restricts potential trade partners for the Cubs to the American League, but at least one NL team might be interested. The Rockies got very limited production from their left fielders last season. Granted, that wasn’t the reason they lost 91 games and finished well out of the playoff picture. The pitching staff was a total disaster all season, but the Rockies still cannot afford to waste a spot in the lineup on a combination of Raimel Tapia and Ian Desmond.

Watching Schwarber hit bombs in Coors Field would be a spectacular sight to behold.

The Rockies offseason plans are just as uncertain as the Cubs, but they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to keep Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon. They can’t afford to waste several years attempting to retool. A lineup featuring Arenado, Blackmon, Schwarber and Trevor Story might be good enough to offset any difficulties in the young rotation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *