Updated: Jan 12
The Washington Nationals have agreed to terms with OF Kyle Schwarber. He will be paid $7 Million in 2021 with a $11 million mutual option for 2022 or a $3 million buyout.
“I told Rizz [Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo] when we talked on the phone, I said, ‘I'm not approaching this as a one-year deal,’” Schwarber said on his introductory Zoom call. “‘I'm going to come in, I’m going to give you everything I have, and I'm going to play as if I've been here five years and still got a couple more years left. I'm going to give you everything I've got, I'm going to invest myself into winning and that's what I want to do here.'”
The 1st round, 4th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Cubs spent the last six years with the club. He was non-tendered by the team last month and was projected to earn approximately $8 million through arbitration in 2021.
The slugger struggled in 2020, he slashed .188/.308/.393 with 11 home runs and 24 runs batted in, in the shortened season. With Juan Soto moving to right field last season the Nationals had a hole at the starting left field position to fill this offseason. The Nationals who are operating under the consensus that there will be no universal DH in 2021, put their trust in Schwarber. He has played 461 of his 551 career games there, with a fielding percentage of .981.
On Christmas Eve, the Nationals also traded two pitching prospects to get slugger Josh Bell, who will man first base. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo had said adding a middle-of-the-order bat was his top offseason priority. He now has two middle of the order bats to protect young superstar Juan Soto.
SS Trea Turner
RF Juan Soto
1B Josh Bell
LF Kyle Schwarber
2B Starlin Castro
C Yan Gomes
CF Victor Robles
3B Carter Kieboom
As you can see, Nationals could still use help at the catcher and third base position, especially if Carter Kieboom continues to not live up to expectations. They finished 26-34, last in the NL East in 2020 and will need to continue to make move to push in front of the reigning NL East champions Braves and the Mets, who just traded for Francisco Lindor.