CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 16: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on September 16, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
The Chicago Cubs opted to non-tender Kyle Schwarber. While his time in the Windy City is over, he will easily find a new home, preferably to one of these three teams.
Throughout Wednesday, all 30 MLB teams had to make decisions on whether they will offer a tender to arbitration-eligible payers by 8 p.m. ET. The Chicago Cubs, who saw team president Theo Epstein step down from his post, had to make some tough decisions.
According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Cubs are tendering an offer to third baseman Kris Bryant, but decided to part ties with catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber. The news came as a bit of a shock, considering the Cubs have told teams that Schwarber was not available in trade talks for years. Now, they’re letting him walk for nothing. A very bold strategy for the Cubbies.
While Schwarber went out with a whimper in Chicago, he’s going to have plenty of suitors as a free agent. Specifically, those who are in need of a corner outfielder and a potential designated hitter. Let’s not forget that Schwarber managed to his 38 home runs in his last full season (2019), so teams will no doubt take a chance on him.
Here are three teams that should take a shot on Schwarber for 2021.
The Detroit Tigers are nearly done with their rebuild, as they’ve seen prospects like Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Issac Paredes and Daz Cameron making their MLB debuts this past season. Detroit is on the rise, but they are nowhere near contention in 2021, considering they’re in the tough AL Central division.
A lot of individuals will look at Schwarber’s subpar slash-line of .188/.308/.393, but we can’t gloss over the fact that this was in a truncated season caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Schwarber only played 59 games last year, which made it difficult for any player, let alone Schwarber, get into a groove.
The Tigers desperately need a power bat in the lineup, as Miguel Cabrera is nearing the end of his career. Detroit hit just 62 home runs this past season (23rd in MLB) and posted a team slugging percentage of .397 (20th in league). Signing Schwarber to a short-term deal could benefit both the player and the team. If Schwarber can put up 2019-type numbers, he can eventually earn a larger contract down the road, while helping the Tigers escape the basement of the division.