Kyle Schwarber wants a Red Sox return this winter
As the post-mortems begin to hit the wire in regards to the 2021 Red Sox season one thing is for certain, this was one hell of a ride. Expectations were as low as could be back in February and March and then the boys stormed the league and put everyone on notice for the entire first half of the campaign.
A collapse in the second portion of the campaign would make a postseason run trickier than it needed to be. But the fellas got hot at the right time and New England was abuzz with postseason fever. However, one moment set this fanbase on fire from the second it happened, trading for Kyle Schwarber.
He wasn’t exactly the name at the top of every fans’ wishlist but those feelings would change in a hurry. At the time, many were very critical of Chaim Bloom in regards to how he attacked his first true Trade Deadline, and understandably so.
It was clear what the Red Sox needed in order to bolster this team and at the time it didn’t seem like Bloom achieved that mission. A power-hitting, left-handed first baseman was at the top of the list, and boy did nobody think that was gonna be Schwarbs. He came to the team while already on the IL and wouldn’t make his debut for a few weeks after the Deadline closed.
Low and behold, he would not only get back to his moon bomb hitting ways, but we would actually become a relatively competent first baseman. For example, there was his atrocious error in the ALDS that he would soon atone for with one of the greatest defensive plays in baseball history. Hell, in last night’s game he was able to react in a way that earned him an unassisted double-play, and if he had just another second, could’ve been a triple-play.
I saw some folks on the old Twitter machine try and say he didn’t do enough there and that he should’ve stopped Yordan Alvarez from scoring. Well, my answer to that is simple, let’s see you out there.
The guy isn’t a first baseman by any definition of the word and probably knows as much about the position as any of us do, so shut it. We all know what wound up happening and now the Red Sox and Bloom need to begin their plan of attack for 2022 and beyond.
For Schwarber, he has a decision to make but I think we already know which way he’s leaning. He has a mutual option in his current contract which means that both the team and player need to agree on activating the clause. I doubt he’ll want to do that as he’s in-store for a massive pay raise, but while talking to the media he did make it known that he wants to be back with Boston after this winter.
"“This is definitely a clubhouse that I could see myself wanting to stay in,” Schwarber said after the Red Sox were eliminated with a 5-0 loss to the Astros in Game 6 of the ALCS. “These guys are amazing. I said this, it’s two World Series teams going at it. This is a World Series clubhouse, and I would love to hopefully see if that opportunity comes back.”"
Plenty of pieces would need to fall into place for this to come to fruition but I also don’t think it’s as far-fetched a signing as some others. Obviously, the biggest hurdle coming up regards J.D. Martinez and his final opt-out decision. While we’ve already seen some teams foaming at the mouth for the veteran DH, he’s coming off of a very poor 2020, and a meh 2021 by his standards, so his market won’t be what it was after 2018/19.
Personally, as much as I love J.D., I think I’d rather have Schwarber in this case. Defensively he can now cover more positions than Martinez, and he can easily slot in as a DH if the lineup calls for it. Plus, if J.D. walks, they could easily re-sign Schwarber, give him a raise, and still be spending far less than they would be for the veteran DH. Schwarbs is also six years younger than Martinez which bodes well for a new contract as well.
"“I just want to say thank you to the whole group,” he said. “Being the new guy coming in, it’s not easy, right? The thing is I never played with any one of these guys before. No previous experience. These guys made it so easy on me just to be able to come in. And me being hurt, like, they could all look at me sideways and think why did we trade for a guy that’s hurt, right?"
To me, the biggest thing to take home here is the fact that he’s only been here for a few months and he already doesn’t want to play for another team. Obviously, if someone comes along and offers him a stupid amount of money that the Red Sox don’t want to match, he’ll walk, but this isn’t Tampa and Chaim has a big checkbook to play with.
It was clear that it wasn’t just Red Sox Nation that fell in love with Schwarber as his teammates were quick to take him in as if he had been here from spring training. Team chemistry was something that was never in question with this squad and considering the number of personalities in this lineup, it was surprising to see him blend in so quickly.
Look no further than how quickly the “Kyle from Waltham,” craze took over thanks to the fellas over at Section-10. Something that started as a joke on a random episode soon became something very real, to the point that the town of Waltham made Kyle an honorary citizen. My guy ordered pizzas for both the Waltham Fire and Police Departments last night! He belongs in Boston and follows the history of slugging, fun-loving, Red Sox first basemen.
I want as much of the core of this team to return for 2022 to see what they can do when they have an entire season together. It’s no secret that Schwarber, or even Bobby Dalbec, is the final answer for the first base issues, but they work well together in tandem. Chaim definitely needs to strengthen the bullpen and add another reliable starter, but a new deal for Schwarbs should be on his to-do list this winter.