Washington Nationals slugger Kyle Schwarber has reportedly drawn significant buzz on the trade market, with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays among those interested, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Schwarber has been on the injured list with a hamstring injury and hasn’t played since July 2, but he could be nearing a return.
Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reported the left fielder took batting practice last weekend and jogged in the outfield.
When healthy, Schwarber has been a difference-maker with 25 home runs and 53 RBI in 72 games. His .253 batting average and .570 slugging percentage would each be a career high for the former Chicago Cub.
The 28-year-old had an eye-popping stretch from June 12 to June 29 in which he hit 16 home runs in 18 games and slashed .348/.403/1.043 before the injury.
While there have been questions about consistency and defensive ability throughout his career, Schwarber has remained an elite power hitter.
He could be a significant addition for any team, especially the AL East squads looking to make a run this postseason.
The Yankees have a lot of big names in their lineup but entered Thursday just 25th in the league in runs scored. They already added fellow left-handed hitting outfielder Joey Gallo in a trade with the Texas Rangers, but Schwarber could provide even more depth offensively and further balance a lineup that has lacked lefty pop.
Boston could use more established lefties in its lineup besides Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo, too, while the added offense could help offset a pitching staff that’s stayed afloat but isn’t stacked with talent. If the Red Sox can’t find a starter before Friday’s trade deadline and Chris Sale doesn’t return to ace form in an expected comeback from Tommy John surgery, they might just have to outscore everyone down the stretch.
The Blue Jays are likely seeking an offensive upgrade over the struggling Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the outfield mix, while Schwarber would also spend plenty of time at designated hitter when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is at first base.