2 Teams Emerge As Favorites To Land Kyle Schwarber


Kyle Schwarber made an adjustment to his swing in 2021 that led to an other-wordly three-week stretch in June that "unleashed the beast", as then-Washington Nationals hitting coach Kevin Long said at the time. That burst, plus a strong finish to the season with the Boston Red Sox after they acquired him at the trade deadline, has set the stage for a huge free agent contract coming for Schwarber. 

There are many teams in on Schwarber, but the field seems to have narrowed to two favorites. 

Philadelphia Phillies:

That afore-mentioned hitting coach Kevin Long, who "unleashed the beast"? He's now the Phillies hitting coach. MLB insider Jon Heyman keyed on that fact when he recently pronounced the Phils the favorite to land Schwarber. 

The Phillies are desperate to beef up their roster and are ready to spend big this offseason to get to the top of an NL East division that could be had. After declining the team option on outfielder Andrew McCutchen, there would appear to be an opening in left field for Schwarber, and certainly at DH should it be adopted, as expected, by the NL for 2022. 

President of baseball ops Dave Dombrowski says he'd like to acquire a left-handed bat who "can hit and drive in runs for us in the middle." With Kevin Long by his side, Schwarber certainly fits the bill.

Boston Red Sox:

The incumbent in this race, the Red Sox, might have the inside edge, as Schwarber has already expressed an interest in returning to Boston, if the money is there. 

The only question would be where he'd play in the field. DH J.D. Martinez picked up his option for 2022, so that would mean Schwarber would have to play either first base or the tricky Fenway outfield. To his credit, Schwarber took a "crash course" on first base after he arrived in Boston, and although he won't win any Gold Gloves, showed that he could handle it. 

The Red Sox say they've made it a priority to retain him, and to that end, Schwarber said, '“It’d be pretty stupid not to think about it. My team here has been unbelievable. … If they feel like they would like to talk about [a new deal], I’d be all ears. I just think it would be stupid to ‘X’ someone off for no reason. Especially for a place like this, I’d be all ears.”

Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports