The New York Yankees don’t seem to be willing to make a big splash in free agency this offseason. They did it last year by bringing Gerrit Cole and signing him to a $324 million contract, but they appear more careful this time around.
That’s why they are unlikely to sign Trevor Bauer or JT Realmuto. But they are at least looking for cheap players that could improve the roster, and last week’s non-tender deadline populated the free agent market with potentially cheap options.
One of those options, for the New York Yankees, appear to be Kyle Schwarber. However, he doesn’t quite seem to fit in the roster, as the Bombers have multiple designated hitter/outfielder types, most notably Giancarlo Stanton (who will be the primary DH moving forward.)
He’s talented but the Yankees don’t quite need him
Yet, according to ESPN MLB insider Buster Olney, the Yankees could ignore his fit on the roster and kick the tires on one of the most talented offensive players on the open market.
“The Yankees need better left-right balance in their lineup, which might explain why they expressed early interest in veteran free agent Michael Brantley, and why they’ll at least look at Kyle Schwarber. But neither player fits easily into their roster, or their current financial constraints. The Yankees probably don’t have a ton of money to spend, and beyond their desire to re-sign DJ LeMahieu, their most glaring need is in their rotation. Through Brian Cashman’s career, his default response to roster holes has usually been to prioritize pitching,” Olney wrote.
The Cubs surprisingly decided to not-tender Schwarber, who hit 38 home runs in 2019 and 11 more in 2020, but slumped all the way to a .188/.308/.393 batting line with a 90 wRC+. While it’s true that it’s easy to fantasize about him bopping home runs over the Yankee Stadium short right field, he doesn’t seem to fit the puzzle.