Red Sox Make Trade For Kyle Schwarber

After a tough loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at home, the Red Sox got a much anticipated surprise. The Boston Red Sox made a late night trade with the Washington Nationals for Kyle Schwarber. The 28 year old outfielder was traded to Boston in the late hours on Thursday night. This trade came as a surprise to Red Sox Nation, as big names like Anthony Rizzo and Max Scherzer were making headlines of their own.

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With the addition of Kyle Schwarber to Boston’s line up, they gain a much needed lefty bat that can help them in the middle of the line up. So far in 2021, Schwarber is hitting .253 with 25 home runs and 53 RBI’s in 72 games with the Nationals. Now, as a member of the Red Sox, Schwarber will be a key component to the Red Sox line up. With only a few more hours to go before 4pm, will the Red Sox add more names to the roster? Only time will tell.

Kyle Schwarber Will Be Bringing The Big Bat To Boston

If there is one thing that Kyle Schwarber is good at, it is hitting mammoth home runs. In just seven seasons, he has hit 145 career home runs, and 25 so far this season. While playing in the 2016 National League Championship Series against the St Louis Cardinals, Schwarber hit a home run so far that it landed on top of the Wrigley Field scoreboard in right field. Following the game, the ball was encased on top of the scoreboard for quite sometime. Since then, the Ohio native has hit many memorable home runs as a member of the Chicago Cubs, and as a brief member of the Nationals. Just last month, Schwarber hit 12 home runs in 10 games, which tied a MLB modern day record. This led him to win National League Player of the Month for June 2021.

Prior to signing with the Nationals this past offseason, Schwarber played for the Chicago Cubs for six seasons. During his time in Chicago, he hit .230 with 121 home runs and 279 RBI’s. Called up as a catcher in 2015, Schwarber moved to left field in 2016. In 562 career MLB games, Kyle Schwarber has played a number of positions. His most played is left field, at 533. He has played four games in right, one game as a 1st baseman, and 26 as a catcher. He has also been a designated hitter 31 times in his career. With his versatility in the field, he will be a big part of the Red Sox team this season, and hopefully next season as well.

Getting To Know Kyle Schwarber

Drafted in the first round of the 2014 MLB draft, Kyle Schwarber was compared to Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and Matt Stairs in regards to his offense. His hard work paid off a shortly after being drafted. Schwarber made his Major League debut with the Cubs on June 16th 2015 against the Cleveland Indians. He came in as a defensive replacement for catcher Miguel Montero. The 2016 World Series champion recorded his first hit the next day, where he went 4 for 5 in the game. His first major league home run came on the 18th, also against the Indians. His second season didn’t go as planned. Two games in, he was involved in an outfield collision with Dexter Fowler, after which he missed the majority of the season. He was able to play in the 2016 World Series, and help the Cubs win their first Championship in 108 years.

After playing in Chicago for seven seasons, the Cubs non-tendered Schwarber. This allowed him to be a free agent for the first time in his career. On January 9th, 2021, the Ohio native signed a one year deal with the Washington Nationals. This deal came with a mutual option for the 2022 season. Schwarber was having a career season in DC prior to the trade with Boston. Not only was he named Player of the Month in June, but he was elected to his first All-Star Game. During his time with the Nationals, he became a fan favorite. Schwarber will be looking to make a name for himself here in Boston, as he looks to win another World Series Championship.

What’s Next For Boston

The trade deadline officially ends today at 4pm EST. There are still many players that can be moved. It will be interesting to see what Bloom does next for the team. Right now, Max Scherzer is heading west to either the Dodgers or the Padres. Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo were traded to the Yankees over the course of the past few days. Other players, like Brad Hand and Danny Hudson have also found new homes. The second half of 2021 will be a race to the finish, as teams look to bolster their rosters.

Boston is heading out on the road after a wild homestand. They will be in Tampa Bay taking on the second place Rays starting tonight at 7:10pm. Martin Perez, Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta will be looking to keep the Rays in check during the three game series. After Tampa Bay, Boston heads to Detroit to take on the Tigers for three games. Finally, they will be closing the road trip in Toronto – Yes, Toronto – to take on the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre for the first time since September 19th, 2019.

Should the Red Sox Trade for Anthony Rizzo?

With the Trade Deadline this Friday many rumors are beginning to swirl for teams across baseball. The Red Sox currently find themselves in a position to possibly build at the deadline rather than sell for the future, which is a pleasant surprise to say the least given the teams last place finish in the division last season. Fans and media were looking for a bounce back season, but it’s safe to say that almost no one saw this performance coming. The team has been rumored to be interested in several players, both pitchers and offensive players including Chicago Cubs star first-baseman Anthony Rizzo. However, should the Red Sox trade for Rizzo, or should they look elsewhere? Or nowhere at all?

Buy or Sell?

Coming into today the Red Sox are tied with the Houston Astros for best record in the American League. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the Chicago Cubs currently sitting in 4th place in the National League Central. The team sits nine games out of first and trending downward. The Cubs posted a record of 18-28 since June 1st that includes an 11-game losing streak. The Cubs already dealt outfielder Joc Pederson, and are expected to sell players like Craig Kimbrel, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo. This makes the Cubs and the Red Sox strong possible trade partners come this Friday.

The Pitching Staff

Many people point to the pitching staff as the team’s weak point. They feel the starting rotation is subpar and lack a true ace right now. The Sox have a team Earned Run Average (ERA) of 4.06, which ranks 7th in the American League. Not great, but not terrible either. Red Sox pitchers are ranked 3rd in the AL in strikeouts and 1st in home runs aloud so they can get it done and keep the offense in the game. Plus, Chris Sale and Ryan Brasier are expected to return from the Injured List at some point this season. Don’t expect Sale to start this season but he could definitely help the bullpen down the stretch. With the team also calling up young pitching prospect Tanner Houck to start, I do not expect this team to add any pitching at the deadline, nor do I think they should.

Offensive Prowess

Offensively the team is gritty and effective. The middle of the lineup with Xander Bogaerts (SS), Rafael Devers (3B), and J.D. Martinez (DH) is one of the best three through five slots in baseball. With Players like Alex Verdugo (LF), Christian Vazquez (C), and Hunter Renfroe (RF) performing well offensively for their respected positions, while also performing well in the field, it’s hard to find a week spot on the team. Kike Hernandez has been a good find as well this season with his ability to play almost anywhere in the field. Although he leaves a bit to be desired as the teams’ lead-off hitter with only a .244 batting average so far this season. His clutch hitting and electric play in the field and on the base path has been worth every penny so far.

Problems Beneath the Surface

This team looks solid on the surface. Dig a little deeper however and you can see where the cracks really are. The lineup is good, but if falls off a bit towards the end. The lack of left-handed hitting has been apparent. Devers, and Verdugo have been the only lefties in the lineup for most of the season. Marwin Gonzalez and Danny Santana can switch hit but both are injured for the foreseeable future right now. Left-handed hitting Jarren Duran was recently called up for AAA, but it will be a bit to see how he adjusts to major league pitching. The team also lacks a true first-basemen. According to Fangraphs.com, the Red Sox rank last in the AL in defense at 1B. Anthony Rizzo can help to fix all these problems. He is a four-time Gold Glove winning first-baseman. He batted lead-off for the Cubs for years. Rizzo has struggled a bit at the plate this season. His average is .244 and his power number has dropped a bit, clubbing only 12 homeruns this season so far. Bobby Dalbec is the Sox everyday first-basemen right now but is only batting .218 with 10 homeruns. Dalbec is only 26, while Rizzo is going to turn 32 on August 8th. It could do Bobby some good to maybe watch and learn from a veteran player for the rest of the season, rather then having to face is struggles at the dish every day.

A Good Fit

Rizzo fits the needs of the Red Sox right now to make a playoff run, but what will it cost? Rizzo is set to make $16.5 million this season, the final of his current contract. Teams will be looking for a guy like Rizzo to be a rental as they try to win the World Series this year. This can bring cost down a bit, but the Cubs aren’t going to part with a guy like Rizzo for cheap. They’ll probably be looking to score a couple prospects, including a team’s top ten prospect. Would you be willing to trade prospects like a Blaze Jordan, Jarren Duran or even a Jeter Downs for a rental like Anthony Rizzo? Do you give up some of your future for increasing you chance of success right now? Oh, to be a baseball GM in late July.

2019 MLB Top Five First Basemen

Historically, the best first basemen around the league bat in the middle of the lineup. In the past two decades, players such as Albert Pujols and Mark Teixeira have not only been the best hitters on their respective teams, but the best hitters in baseball. In Pujols’s eleven seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, he made the All-Star team nine times, averaged 40 home runs, 120 RBI, a .328 batting average and a 1.037 OPS. He also won Rookie of the Year, three MVPs, and two World Series titles. Though Teixeira’s first seven seasons were split between four teams (TEX, ATL, LAA, NYY), he remained a pitcher’s nightmare, averaging 34 homers, 114 RBI, and a .921 OPS. Both Pujols and Teixeira were, at one point in their prime, Top Five First Basemen.

This season, there were four clear-cut players that made the list. Finding number-five wasTop Five First Basemen difficult. One may have favored Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, who has averaged a .869 OPS in five seasons since being signed as an international free agent out of Cuba. Other candidates were Eric Hosmer (San Diego Padres) and Carlos Santana (Cleveland Indians). The selection, however, goes to up-and-coming star Rhys Hoskins, who slugged an .850 OPS in his first full season in 2018.

Top Five First Basemen – 5 – Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia Phillies)

Hoskins’s 38 doubles and 34 home runs last season were no fluke. He made his MLB debut in August 2017, and in 50 games, hit 18 home runs, knocked in 48 runs, and posted an OPS of 1.014. Back in 2016, Hoskins spent a full season playing at Double-A Reading. He hit 38 homers and 116 RBI. In 2017, at Triple-A, he played 115 games and set the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs franchise-record in HRs with 29. After eclipsing the 30 home-run-mark in 2018, look for Hoskins to hit closer to 40 this season, if not more.

Top Five First Basemen – 4 – Paul Goldschmidt (St. Louis Cardinals)

Goldschmidt has been an All-Star in each of the past six seasons. His most notable strength is that he is a master at reaching base, averaging a .406 clip since 2013. He is one of the very few at his position to add speed on the base paths (17 per season). Goldy has finished top-3 in the MVP voting three times. He joins a new team in the Cardinals this year after spending his entire career with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cardinals rewarded him with a 5-year contract extension on March 21st. The D-Backs never won a division title in the Goldschmidt era.

Top Five First Basemen – 3 – Joey Votto (Cincinnati Reds)

The 2010 NL MVP turns 36 in September and has put together a spectacular career. Besides Pujols and Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, JV is the only other active 1B to win a MVP award. In terms of reaching base, no one else comes close. His career OBP clip is an astounding .427. He has led the league in walks five times and OBP seven times. His slugging percentage, however, took a big dip last year (.419). The three years prior he had averaged .556. That decline, combined with the fact the Reds have won just 2 games in Votto’s career, puts him at 2019 first baseman number-three.

Top Five First Basemen – 2 – Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs)

The only first baseman to put together four straight 100 RBI seasons is Rizzo. He won his second Gold Glove in the past three years in 2018 and was a major contributor to the Cubs 2016 World Series championship. Rizzo is extremely durable, at least 616 plate appearances in each season, and has led Chicago to four straight playoff appearances.

Top Five First Basemen – 1 – Freddie Freeman (Atlanta Braves)

Freeman led all first basemen in hits, doubles, and batting average last year. In his last three seasons he has averaged a slash line of .306/.397/.949. Freeman’s Braves won the NL East in 2018. He won his first Gold Glove last year and enters 2019 as the most feared first baseman.