The New York Yankees have had eager ears this offseason in search of instrumental pieces to bolster their team to ultimately propel themselves to the first World Series appearance in over a decade. The 2020 season is already held in high regard considering the behemoth signing of Gerrit Cole for nine-years, $324 million.
Owner Hal Steinbrenner and GM Brian Cashman have made it apparent they’re willing to drop their checkbook like a mic after a perfect comedy skit. The latest potential trade involves Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber, whose defensive issues are well documented, despite his quality offensive abilities.
Realistically, Schwarber has one characteristic that makes him an appealing option for the Bombers — he’s a slugger. The outfielder hit .250/.339/.531 with 38 homers and 29 doubles in 155 games last season. Replacing Edwin Encarnacion is a priority for the Yankees, who desire a productive home run hitter to slot in at the designated hitter position.
Alternatively, manager Aaron Boone could slide Giancarlo Stanton into the DH spot and utilize Schwarber in left field while Aaron Judge remains steady in right field and Brett Gardner holds down center in the absence of Aaron Hicks.
What would it take for the Yankees to land the 26-year-old?
The Cubs won’t let their top home run hitter go without receiving a promising package in return, which is where Miguel Andujar enters into the scenario. After missing all of 2019 with a torn labrum, Andujar is preparing to return and compete for the starting third base position.
With Gio Urshela already expected to start on the hot corner in 2020, Andujar has an uphill battle ahead of him. However, the Yankees could look to shop him in the coming weeks to add an essential power hitter to the lineup, a factor that has served them well in recent years.
This would also allow Stanton to focus on his hitting consistency rather than risking injury in the outfield. For the money the Yankees are paying, primarily for his offensive production, it makes sense to take the caution for injury out of the equation. Shwarber also adds a lefty bat to a predominantly righty hitting order.