The Philadelphia Phillies and free agent Kyle Schwarber have agreed to terms of a 4 year, $79 million deal, per reports.
That’s a lot of money. Schwarber, 29, was the 4th overall pick of the 2014 draft by the Chicago Cubs out of the University of Indiana. Schwarber was a catcher in college but his real position was always “hitter,” and he has played mostly left field and DH since reaching the majors.
After a run of solid but unspectacular seasons for the Cubs he had a disappointing 2020 season, slashing .188/.308/.393, resulting in the Cubs opting to non-tender him after the season. Schwarber signed a one year, $7 million deal with the Washington Nationals and had his best season in the majors. Between the Nationals and the Boston Red Sox, who acquired him at the trade deadline, Schwarber slashed .266/.374/.554 in 471 plate appearances, putting up a 3.1 bWAR.
The Rangers reportedly had some interest in Schwarber, but at this price, I can see why the team would pass. Kiley McDaniel had Schwarber ranked #21 on his free agent board, projecting he would get 3 years, $45 million. Fangraphs had Schwarber at #20 on their board, with both the median crowdsourced contract and Ben Clemens’ projected contract coming in at 4 years, $60 million. Even with the National League adopting the DH, and thus potentially expanding Schwarber’s market, he well exceeded what it was expected he would get.