Kyle Schwarber

Schwarber chooses Philly

Looking to make some sort of splash before spring games begin, the Phillies and Kyle Schwarber agreed to a four-year, $79-milllion deal, filling a need in left field. Last year’s left fielder, Andrew McCutchen, entered free agency and signed with Milwaukee creating the opening.

Schwarber is best known for his time with the Chicago Cubs where he played for six seasons. The Cubs non-tendered Schwarber early last December and a month later he signed with Washington as a free agent. At the trade deadline, the Nationals dealt Schwarber to Boston for pitcher Aldo Ramirez. Rather than bringing back Schwarber, Boston bought out the option year on his contract for $3-million, making him a free agent.

In 664 major league games, Schwarber has produced a slash line of 153-350-.237/.343/.493. The 2021 season was his most productive when he hit a combined 32-71-.266/.374/.554 with Washington and Boston. It was the third time in seven seasons that he has hit 30 or more home runs and he was named to the NL All-Star Team for the first time in his career. As a left-handed bat, Schwarber will likely bat fifth in the Phillies lineup with J.T. Realmuto between he and Bryce Harper, the other big left-handed bat in the lineup. Throughout his career, Schwarber has hit out of various spots in the lineup ranging from leadoff through sixth.

The Phillies had been pursuing a big bat via free agency or trade. It is thought that outfielders Kris Bryant, Nick Castellanos and Schwarber were among their top targets. Harper had publicly pressed for the team to sign some offensive help for the lineup and suggested his childhood friend Bryant.

Schwarber turned 29 earlier this month and was originally drafted by the Cubs with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 Draft coming out of Indiana University – Bloomington.

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