The New York Yankees’ interest in Kyle Schwarber remains persistent.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Monday that the Yankees and Chicago Cubs have had trade discussions about the 26-year-old slugger. However, “there is no momentum,” per the report.
The Yankees have been linked to Schwarber since 2016 as a prime candidate to take a corner outfield spot while getting the occasional look as a designated hitter.
Fast-forward three years and the Yankees need an additional left-handed bat that can provide some power.
Brett Gardner — coming off a 28-home-run season of his own — and Mike Tauchman are projected to the be only lefty bats in the Bronx in 2020 at this time.
Schwarber is coming off his best season as a pro, slashing .250/.339/.531 with 38 home runs and 92 RBI in a career-high 155 games as Chicago’s starting left fielder.
The Cubs look to be toying with the idea of a firesale. After parting ways with manager Joe Maddon, multiple reports have revealed that the likes of star third baseman Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contrares are available on the trade market.
Schwarber is under team control through the 2021 season and is projected to make just $8 million next year.
With Bryant also on the block, the Cubs could ask for a sizable return that includes Miguel Andujar — who could be the next man guarding the hot corner at Wrigley Field.
Schwarber would be a logical replacement for Gardner once the veteran’s one-year deal expires, assuming the Yankees don’t pick up his $10 million option in 2021.
The problem is that he might not be a perfect fit for the Yankees, at least for the moment — meaning their interest in Schwarber could suggest some more moves ahead.
Schwarber is a below-average defensive outfielder that would be thrown in the mix of a log jam. With starting center fielder Aaron Hicks likely out until at least August after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Gardner will shift over from left while Tauchman and Clint Frazier compete for playing time, as well.
It becomes even more crowded when Hicks returns.
The DH spot is pretty set for now, too, with Giancarlo Stanton’s albatross of a contract as the No. 1 option.
Schwarber could try to make the move to first base if Luke Voit and Mike Ford can’t cut it, but he’s never played the position in the majors.