Kyle Schwarber has been one of the most talked about trade chips for the Chicago Cubs so far this offseason. He has been mentioned in trade rumors for the past two years, but those rumors have heated up this offseason after Theo Epstein made it clear that he is open to moving some of his young MLB pieces.
Last season with the Cubs, according to ESPN statistics, Schwarber finished the year with a.211 batting average to go along with 30 home runs and 59 RBI’s. It was an up-and-down season for Schwarber, to say the least.
Early in the year, Schwarber struggled mightily at the plate. He struggled so much that the Cubs decided to send him to the minor leagues to work on his approach. Schwarber came back and looked much better the rest of the season, but still did not have the breakout season that everyone was expecting from him.
While he may be a quality trade chip for the Cubs, trading him might be a huge mistake. Why should the Cubs hold off on trading Schwarber this offseason?
Quite simply, Schwarber has the potential to become one of the top power bats in baseball. Even with the struggles that he had in 2017, he was still able to hit 30 home runs. Those numbers made him the second leading home run hitter behind Anthony Rizzo, who hit 32 home runs throughout the 2017 season.
Could the Cubs deal Kyle Schwarber this winter? What about Addison Russell? Or Javy Baez?@MDGonzales weighs the pros and cons of trading 5 regular contributors: https://t.co/GDzRcP6rw4 pic.twitter.com/Fw51j4CSWY
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) November 13, 2017
Just two short years ago, Schwarber was a World Series hero for the Cubs. He came back from a torn ACL to record a.412 batting average and two RBI’s. Back in the 2015 postseason, Schwarber cranked five home runs and eight RBI’s.
Those numbers show a bit of the production that Schwarber can put up in clutch playoff situations.
At just 24 years of age, Schwarber is one of the bring young sluggers in the league. He may have struggled last season, but his swing brings pure power and there is no denying the work ethic that Schwarber has. Now that new hitting coach Chili Davis is on board, the Cubs’ power bats should take yet another step forward in 2018.
Chicago could look to include Schwarber in a trade for a high-profile pitcher. Some have speculated that the Cubs could try to make Schwarber the centerpiece of a trade for Marcus Stroman or Chris Archer. Both pitchers would be nice to have, but Schwarber has the potential to be the kind of offensive threat that can power the Cubs to another World Series appearance.
Over the past couple of years, Chicago has given up two of their top hitting prospects. Gleyber Torres was sent to the New York Yankees in the deal that brought Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs and Chicago traded Eloy Jiminez to the Chicago White Sox last year to acquire Jose Quintana.
Schwarber may not be a superstar yet and there may be concerns about his struggles last season, but it is way too early to move on from him. Chicago’s offense had consistency issues last season and there aren’t many players with the talent of Schwarber that they can plug into their lineup.
It may be intriguing to consider moving Schwarber in a deal to net a big name, but it simply isn’t worth the risk of losing a potential 40 home run hitter.
Expect to hear plenty of rumors surrounding Schwarber this coming offseason. He is going to be a piece of interest for teams that are discussing big trades with the Cubs.
Despite the interest that the Cubs will receive in him from other teams, they should hold onto Schwarber for at least one more season.
[Featured Image by Jamie Squire/Getty Images]