Back in October, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune broke down the Cubs’ roster heading into the offseason and he listed Kyle Schwarber as a player “likely to depart” in the winter via trade. I laughed it off then, but the Schwarber trade rumors keep popping up.
It didn’t make sense a month ago and it doesn’t make any sense now.
So, a few days after the speculation first began to spread throughout the media that the Cubs weren’t going after the big free agents in the offseason, we got two more MLB reporters saying the Cubs could be looking to trade Schwarber.
#Cubs unlikely to add significant $ this offseason. Best chance for substantial change would be if they move a core piece such as Schwarber to address other needs.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 5, 2018
All right, so obviously the significant money added in the offseason would be Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. But under this logic that’s not happening so the next big thing is trading away one of the better bats the Cubs currently have?
It makes zero sense.
The Cubs do have other needs. There’s no way they can count on Brandon Morrow to be their closer in 2019, so they need to get an impact reliever. But why trade Schwarber if there are already several free agent relievers on the market? Oh, and their other big need? A good hitter.
Why trade a guy who at worst will hit 30 home runs and have an OBP of about .360 for another hitter? Just taking one step forward and one step immediately back.
Joel Sherman wasn’t the only one sharing this. Here’s Bob Nightengale in USA Today.
The Cubs, with an estimated $205 million in financial commitments in 2019, are focusing instead on the trade market with top trade pieces being outfielder Kyle Schwarber and shortstop Addison Russell.
Again, how does trading Kyle Schwarber make the 2019 Cubs better? The only reason a trade makes sense is if the Cubs actually do sign one of the big free agent bats and then they’d have the flexibility to seek other pieces, dangling young players as trade bait like Schwarber. Yet, that goes against everything else that’s being reported, that the Cubs won’t spend big.
So again, this doesn’t make any sense.
And I’ll share this stat one more time. Since Schwarber made his debut back in the middle of 2015, he ranks fourth on the Cubs in both home runs and walks. He’s done that despite basically missing the entire 2016 regular season.
It just doesn’t make any sense that they’d trade him in what at best would be a lateral move.
Theo: we need guys who walk and hit home runs
Media: trade Kyle Schwarber, who walks and hit home runs
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) November 5, 2018
And I’m not saying the Cubs should completely tune out talks if teams are interested, but the return in any hypothetical trade for Schwarber has to blow the Cubs away. Anything less and it’s a waste.