Are the New York Yankees targeting Kyle Schwarber?

New York Yankees, Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs

We are just a couple of days away from the trade deadline and the New York Yankees are making moves. Last night, The Bombers sent a clear signal that they plan on buying at the trade deadline this year.

The Yankees traded away Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to the Cincinnati Reds. By trading Cessa and Wilson to the Reds, the Yankees freed up two roster spots and they freed up a little salary space.

It is being widely reported that Brian Cashman is engaged on a number of fronts. However, the Yankees seem to be maintaining that they will not deal the best prospects in their system at the deadline this year.

So forget your dreams of the Yankees potentially acquiring a Trea Turner. Instead, a lot of rental options are in play. Trevor Story has been linked to the Yankees for weeks and Jon Heyman reported that Cashman has made an offer to the Rockies.

Now, that offer was said to be weak and uninteresting to Colorado. However, it shows that Cashman is interested. There’s also been talks of Starling Marte, Max Kepler, and Joey Gallo.

Gallo and Kepler appear less likely to me at the moment because of the prospect premium that it would cost the Yankees. However, there’s a new name that’s generating interest on the market and it’s a name that Brian Cashman knows well.

Will the Yankees finally get their guy?

The Washington Nationals are in full sell-mode at the moment. It’s been reported that nobody outside of Juan Soto is untouchable for the Nats. Max Scherzer is expected to be dealt as soon as today.

Trea Turner could be on the block and despite nursing a hamstring injury, Kyle Schwarber is generating trade interest. Schwarber so far this season is hitting .253 with an OBP of .340. Not too mention the fact that he’s slugged 25 home runs and drove in 53 runs.

Schwarber swings it from the left-side which has been a monumental weakness for the Yankees. If the Yankees were to go out and acquire Schwarber, he would instantly be the team leader in both home runs and RBIs.

Schwarber is signed through this season with a mutual option and a buy-out after this season. Brian Cashman has always loved Kyle Schwarber. When the Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs in 2016, Schwarber was the guy they wanted.

However, they settled for Gleyber Torres in the end. Over the years, the Yankees have tried on numerous occasions to get Schwarber and it never worked out. Perhaps, this year could be the year.

Again, because of the injury, the interest is not known, but I guarantee the Yankees are interested. Schwarber could play in the outfield and he would give them the help they need from the left side of the plate. This is a name I would definitely watch between now and the deadline.

Yankees Update: Gio Urshela provides update after surgery, Kyle Schwarber rumors

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

2020 has been a tough year for many people, and that doesn’t exclude New York Yankees 3rd baseman Gio Urshela.

Urshela recovered from COVID-19 last month and experience symptoms for several days. Luckily, he is healthy now but was forced to undergo surgery two weeks ago on his throwing elbow. He had a bone chip removed, an issue that stemmed earlier in the season.

“I’m feeling way better,” said Urshela, who is rehabbing in New York. “I’m feeling every day”

The Yankees expect Gio to be ready for the 2021 season, but he is still healing, and his rehabilitation could find its way into spring training. Nonetheless, he is not going to rush his recovery, and he will be ready when he’s ready.

“I’m going to be ready when I’m ready,” Urshela said. “I’m not going to push. I’m going to get ready 100%, then go out there and play.”

Urshela had another great performance in 2020, hitting .298 with six homers and 30 RBIs. He earned a career-high walk percentage at 10.3% and once again was a stellar fielder on the hot corner. He finished the campaign with a .992 fielding percentage, one error, and 10 double plays turned.

With Gio’s value skyrocketing, he’s expected to be the long-term starter at third base, and since his offense has taken off in such a big way, general manager Brian Cashman once again looks like a hero.

The New York Yankees are likely out on Kyle Schwarber:

There were rumors circulating that the Yankees could be interested in former Cub Kyle Schwarber, who was not tendered a contract this off-season.

When healthy, Schwarber is a fantastic slugger, having posted 38 homers in 2019 over 610 plate appearances. However, he has significantly high strikeout rates, striking out almost 30% of the time in 2020. He played 59 or 60 games, though, indicating a nice string of health that kept him productive.

“Clearly, we would expect him to do damage at Yankee Stadium, whether he’s in an opposing uniform or our uniform,” GM Brian Cashman said Wednesday on WFAN’s “Carton and Roberts.”

The way Cashman phrased his comments on Kyle did not indicate they were interested at this point, despite being linked to him on numerous occasions in the past. His slugging ability matches up perfectly with what the Yankees like to do on offense, but the stars don’t seem to be aligning at this point in time.

New York Yankees Analysis: If the Yankees don’t sign LeMahieu will they bring lefty bats to Yankee Stadium?

New York Yankees, Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs

The New York Yankees faced nearly unmeasurable losses last season with not fan revenues. Being strapped for money, the team will have to go through a transformation not recently seen if they want to get to postseason play in the 2021 baseball season. The Yankees have made it a priority to re-sign batting title holder DJ LeMahieu. Right next to that priority, they have to solve their pitching rotation behind last year’s major acquisition of Yankee ace Gerrit Cole.

If that wasn’t enough to deal with, they also have questions at the backstop and backstop. Of somewhat lesser concern but still important is if the New York Yankees will address their left-handed hitters’ shortage. When the Yankees failed to bring back shortstop Didi Gregorius last season, it left the team with only Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks to hit from the plate’s left side. Now there is the danger of Brett Gardner not being with the team either. If the Yankees don’t work out a deal with Gardner, they will have only one left bat in the regular lineup.

The Yankees do have Mike Ford and Tyler Wade that are lefties, but after poor seasons from both of them in 2020, you will not likely see them in the lineup unless there are injuries. No matter how they work it out, the Yankees need at least one if not two left-hand hitters in the otherwise righty heavy lineup. There are two excellent free-agent options out there. Michael Brantley and Kyle Schwarber.

Kyle Schwarber:

Kyle Schwarber has been on the New York Yankees’ radar for some time. With all the outfield injuries in the last several years, general manager Brian Cashman has been actively interested in Schwarber. Still, he never could put a deal together to obtain him. When the Chicago Cubs surprisingly let him become a free agent, the Yankees really don’t have a great need for him.

Nevertheless, Schwarber could be a good addition to the lineup. Number one is that he is a lefty hitter. Schwarber has good power that can make an impact on any at-bat. He had 38 homers, a career-high, during the 2019 season and 11 during the shortened campaign last year. On the wrong side of the issue, the Cubs most likely let him go due to his .188 batting average last season.

Although the Yankees have plenty of outfielders, it would seem that there is no place for Schwarber. That is mostly true, but if you look at outfielders Stanton, Hicks, and Judge, you see the possibilities of injuries based on history. Having Schwarber in the mix would be helpful. Although he is not a utility player and can fill in at first base should Voit be injured, he could also give the injury-prone Gary Sanchez a rest as he has catching experience.

Another pro for Schwarber is that he stays healthy. In 2019 he played in 155 games of the 162 game season. The seven days off were for rest, not injuries. This past season he played in 59 of the 60 games played by the Chicago Cubs.

Michael Brantley:

Michael Brantley is a different story, he hasn’t been on the Yankees’ radar, but the team and front office are very familiar with the lefty; he had done a lot of damage to the Yankees during his time with the Houston Astros.

Buster Olney
@Buster_ESPN
The Yankees need more left-handed hitting, and among the players, they’ve had contact with: four-time All-Star Michael Brantley. But it seems possible that he would be a Plan B to D.J. LeMahieu; hard to imagine the Yankees would sign LeMahieu and Brantley.
Even if the Yankees sign DJ LeMahieu to the five-year contract he demands, the Yankees should also think seriously about signing Brantley. The hard-hitting Brantley is the perfect fit for the short porch at Yankees Stadium. Regardless of what Hal Steinbrenner says, the Yankees are not broke. Brantley would be a less costly addition to the lineup compared to LeMahieu. There is no reason the Yankees can’t have both. The other option is to let Brantley go to the rising Toronto Blues Jays with a strong interest in him. They had to face Brantley with the Astros; the Yankees don’t want to face him in their own division with the Jays.
Brantley’s only downside is that he is a left fielder, which the Yankees don’t need. However, with the up and coming Clint Frazier, he can play anywhere in the outfield. If the Yankees get creative, they could make it work.
The bottom line:
Here is this writer’s opinion. The New York Yankees need at least one more lefty bat whether they sign LeMahieu or not. My choice is to sign LeMahieu and Michael Brantley both. I would take Brantley over the overrated Schwarber any day of the week. Brantley, although not the home run hitter that Schwarber is, is very LeMahieu-like. He hit .300 this past season and has a career .297 batting average.

 

New York Yankees will at least ‘look’ at Kyle Schwarber, according to report

New York Yankees, Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs

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.

Yankees news/rumors: Kyle Schwarber to the Bombers? LeMahieu’s five year desire

New York Yankees, Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs

With Brett Gardner representing the primary lefty bat for the New York Yankees, he could be on his way out after his club option was declined. The Yankees would’ve owed him $10 million for the 2021 season, but they elected to take a more cost-efficient route.

In 2019, Gardner hit 28 homers, a career-high and major surprise considering his lack of slugging throughout his career. This past season, his numbers came crashing back down to earth, hitting five homers and a .223 batting average.

With Gardner still a free agent, the Yankees could be looking at Kyle Schwarber, former Chicago cub, as an alternative.

MLB.com’s Mike Lupica makes a very good argument on Schwarber coming to New York:

And here’s an even more important stat, at a time when the Yankees have struggled to keep a healthy lineup: Schwarber played 59 out of the Cubs’ 60 regular-season games last season. You know how many games (combined) that Judge and Stanton played? Fifty-one. If there had been a full 162-game schedule in 2020, Judge — who missed 110 games in the previous two seasons — might have missed 100 more because of a stress fracture in his right rib.

Schwarber’s health is a positive selling point, as the Yankees have battled injuries with their sluggers the past few seasons. Schwarber played in 59 games, finishing with a .188 batting average, 11 homers, and 24 RBIs.

This past season surely wasn’t his best, but in 2019, he hit .250 with 38 homers and 92 RBIs. That is the player the Yankees would be looking to gain, and considering the focal point and advanced analytics when it comes to improving home runs for specific players, he fits the bill almost perfectly.

The Cubs non-tendering him opens up a clear-cut outfielder and slugger for the Yankees, and I would be surprised if he didn’t make a serious run at his services.

The New York Yankees are still figuring out DJ LeMahieu’s contract:

Recent reports indicated LeMahieu is looking for a five-year deal and has not budged from that desire. It seems as if DJ wants to hunker down wherever he signs a new contract, which is a reasonable desire after playing so well the past two seasons.

Representatives for DJ would settle for $20 million per season over five years, but at that point in his career, he will be nearly 38 years old. Dropping that kind of cash while paying Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gleyber Torres in the future will be problematic. Not to mention ace Gerrit Cole is making $36 million per season on average.

Ideally, the Yankees can sign a four-year deal with a vesting option for a fifth year, even if they have to pay a little bit more. At his age, you can’t commit to that many years and that much money without remembering Jacoby Ellsbury and others.

Yankees news/rumors: Kyle Schwarber could land in New York after Cubs cut ties

New York Yankees, Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs

The New York Yankees’ focus on sluggers when it comes to their offensive system, and with left-fielder Brett Gardner seeing his club option declined for the 2021 season, finding an alternative option could be in the books.

While Gardner could be retained on a cheaper deal as a reserve option, several players could fit the bill for the Yankees and their home-run centric mentality.

With 8 PM on Wednesday being the deadline to tender contracts to players on expiring contracts but are still controlled by the team, one player was cut five Chicago cubs.

Chicago released 27-year-old Kyle Schwarber, and he is the perfect player to add for the Yankees and their desire to add home runs. Nearly every season for Schwarber has resulted in double-digit homers, but his batting average has always taken a backseat. Schwarber also strikes out a monstrous amount, logging a 29.5% rate in 2020.

His numbers eerily resemble Gary Sanchez’s, hitting .188 with 11 homers and 24 RBIs this past season. He earned a 0.4 WAR and made 48 appearances in the outfield. Every inning he participated was in left field, allowing zero errors and earning 70 put-outs. However, his efficiency hasn’t been so great in the past, seeing six errors in 2019.

The New York Yankees should heavily consider singing Schwarber:

Ultimately, signing Schwarber would be a cheap option for the Yankees as a competitor. If they elect to move on from Gardner, they still have Clint Frazier and Mike Tauchman in the outfield.

I believe Frazier will get the first crack at starting reps in left field next season, after having a break out 2020 campaign. He finished the season with a .267 batting average, 15.6% walk rate, eight homers, and 26 RBIs. He did strike out 27.5% of the time, and he needs to increase his efficiency in that category. If he can make more contact and increase his vision at the plate, he could be a staple on offense for the Bombers.

I believe with more at-bats, Clint will only get better, which is a great sign for the Yankees after he was benched in 2019 for defensive deficiencies. He was a Gold Glove finalist this past season, finishing with a .984 fielding percentage and just one error over 280 innings.

He made several impressive diving catches and looked the part of a professional outfielder. Nonetheless, with Tauchman representing depth in the outfield currently, adding a player on a reasonable contract like Schwarber is only beneficial for a Yankees team who likes to rotate players and stick to their analytics.

Report: Yankees could trade for Cubs’ slugger Kyle Schwarber

New York Yankees, Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs

The New York Yankees have committed to a home run centric mentality when it comes to their offense, given their reluctance to move on from Gary Sanchez and commitment to Giancarlo Stanton over the long term.

In their eyes, if they can hit a specific number of home runs every season, they can score a specific number of runs. It ultimately comes down to numbers, and the Yankees figure that paying top dollar for HR hitters is more valuable than contact and base running.

If they want to continue their streak of injecting long ball sluggers into their lineup, Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber could fit the bill.

The Chicago Tribune stated that the Yankees could be in the market for a lefty slugger, and Schwarber could be a trade target:

Of the 94 home runs the Yankees hit last season, only 14 came from left-handed hitters. With only 318 feet to the right-field foul pole at Yankee Stadium, it’s easy to envision Schwarber fitting in perfectly and reaching his 38-home-run level from 2019. The Cubs could look for a rebound from infielder Miguel Andujar, the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year runner-up who can play third base and left field, depending on the health of his right shoulder. The Cubs should be able to pry a young pitcher to complete the deal.

A prospect might be more desirable, but let’s take a look at what Schwarber offers. This past season with the Cubs, he hit .188 with 11 homers and 24 RBIs. He struck out nearly 30% of the time, eerily comparable to Sanchez at the plate. However, in 2019, he hit .250 with 38 homers and 92 RBIs over 610 plate appearances.
This is directly in line with what the Yankees desire in the batter’s box, and if they elect to move on from Brett Gardner, they could re-allocate his salary toward Schwarber and a potential deal. He likely wouldn’t cost too much to acquire, but it would take a decent prospect to dislodge him. He’s a free agent in 2022, meaning the Bombers would also have to extend him once he becomes a Yankee.
Personally, this move doesn’t exactly scream value — Brian Cashman is better off utilizing talent already on the roster.

New York Yankees news, rumors: Trading J.A. Happ, adding lefty bat, more!

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in a few weeks, the remainder of the offseason will feel accelerated. The new year is right around the bend, and New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has already activated his most significant action this period with the signing of Gerrit Cole.

Now, the priorities land on adding diversity and unloading salary space to make room for Cole and his $36 million per season. That’s where J.A. Happ enters the fray, as his $17 million per season doesn’t seem required anymore after posting a bloated 4.91 ERA in 2019.

Do the New York Yankees need to replace Betances, even if it’s Hader?

The Yankees aren’t trying to get rid of Happ since he’s a capable pitcher who played well in 2018. It’s more about money. At 37-years-old, the lefty pitcher is expendable, as the Yankees try to lessen the inevitable luxury tax penalty they will face. Shedding their No. 5 pitcher, which is where Happ would have landed in the rotation (Jordan Montgomery can easily replace him), makes sense. The Blue Jays and Brewers have both been linked to Happ as the Yankees search for a team that is willing to consume his contract.

Finding a lefty bat:

With a majority of the Yankees’ projected lineup next year bring right-handed, the search for a lefty hitter has become pressing. The departure of Didi Gregorius has left Brett Gardner, Mike Tauchman, Tyler Wade, Mike Ford, and Aaron Hicks as lefty options, but most of them are reserves.

Veteran infielder Joe Panik has been floated as an option, but he’s more of a defensive threat than an offensive producer. Add Kyle Schwarber to the mix, a player who launched 38 homers last season, and the Bombers have two targets in their sights. Trading for Schwarber might force Cashman to part with more capital that he would theoretically desire, but the Cubs’ top slugger might be worth the price.

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One slugger the Yankees can trade for to replace Edwin Encarnacion

New York Yankees, Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs

The New York Yankees decided to trade for Edwin Encarnacion before the trade deadline during the 2019 regular season, and he produced nicely for the team until the postseason rolled around. He finished with 13 homers and 33 RBIs over 44 games with the Bombers, helping them seal clutch victories on numerous occasions.

However, the Yankees let him walk in free agency after his .056 batting average in the ALCS against the Houston Astros. The sole purpose of bringing him to the Bronx was to maximize his home runs totals, which the Yankees prefer for their hitters considering their home-run centric mentality. He fit the mold perfectly as a designated hitter and first base supplement. Injuries did hurt his consistency.

Who can the Yankees pursue to replace him?

Finding a capable slugger to help the DH position should be a priority beyond signing star pitcher Gerrit Cole, who inked a nine-year, $324 million deal with the Yanks.

One exciting option is Kyle Schwarber, who clocked 38 homers in 2019. Last week, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Yankees and Chicago Cubs had discussed the possibility of Schwarzer coming to the Bronx. The 26-year-old left fielder serves a specific purpose, and while his defense isn’t noteworthy, his offensive production is exactly with GM Brian Cashman is looking for.

With six outfielders already on the roster, though, trading for him would require an additional move — possibly the trading of Clint Frazier.

Schwarber slashed .250/.339/.531 in 2019 with a .817 OPS and 120 wRC+. The Yankees have had success extracting quality from average hitters, and with Kyle’s power, there’s plenty of room to improve, especially in the contact department.

The reality is, Schwarber would fit perfectly with the Bombers’ lineup, as he ranked among the league’s best in barrel percentage, expected slugging percentage, and exit velocity. He also finished in the top 1% in hard-hit rate. His influence in an already power-packed lineup would be intimidating for opposing pitchers.

Yankees could make trade that would send Giancarlo Stanton to the DH spot

New York Yankees, Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs

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.