Red Sox: Dissecting the pros and cons of the Kyle Schwarber trade


A look at the Red Sox Kyle Schwarber deal

Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox finally pulled the trade trigger and got a slugger of note. Lefty hitting Kyle Schwarber is an All-Star and having a power-plus season. The negative is a propensity for whiffing, average defensive capabilities, where to play, who you lost, and then the borderline incursion on the luxury tax.

The walk of shame after flaying away is not an accepted consequence of baseball circa 2021. The Red Sox have a notable collection of players who have taken that ability to an art form. Schwarber’s career 28.2 K% should slide right into the lineup. A nice fit.

Defense at Fenway Park can be an adventure even for the most experienced of outfielders. Schwarber is classified as a corner outfielder and that means potential misery for a pitcher who witnesses outfielder adventurism. The Red Sox sit atop the heap in the American League with a 5.9 UZR/150. Alex Verdugo is the only statistical negative checking in at a – 5.1 UZR/150 and slightly below Schwarber’s -4.9 UZR/150. But 25 home runs can cure a lot of misplays.

That brings us to play, as to where to play the new potential slugger in residence? Being tossed around is first base. A player with no experience changing positions in baseball mid-life can raise concerns. The recent move of Christian Arroyo didn’t quite pan out as expected. But first needs an upgrade offensively and I doubt Schwarber will be a resurrection of Dick Stuart. A defensive abomination. Manager Alex Cora does have excellent qualities in finding the appropriate number of innings to keep all the campers happy.

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The luxury tax will rear its ugly head. Just how close will the Red Sox be to the tipping point? My assumption is the fiscal manipulators make it work but management had also made a rather lukewarm response of a willingness to spend. That, of course, had much to do with the ultimate prize in the current trading deadline scrum – Max Scherzer.

The Red Sox gave up a Top-20 prospect and that is quite similar to what we have seen as the going price for some recent trades. Although I do think the Blue Jays did get a steal with Brad Hand for catcher Riley Adams. The Red Sox lost a pitcher – Aldo Ramirez – who is ranked 19th in the system, per MLB Pipeline.

I often use my travels to explore car options when I rent. A trial run for a purchase. Schwarber is a rent-to-own. The contract calls for a mutual option of $11 MM for the 2022 season. If the Sox like what they see then they can make an offer for a longer-term deal. Schwarber is also non-eligible for a qualifying offer.

Next. What Kyle Schwarber brings to the Red Sox. dark

The bottom line is the Red Sox are now a better club with Schwarber than without him. This certainly counteracts the Rays and Yankees collection of Joey Gallo, Anthony Rizzo, and Nelson Cruz. Now as I write this just maybe Boston can also get righty Daniel Hudson from the Nats? Chaim has Washington’s phone number, why not make another call?